THE GOSPEL OF GRACE
Christmastide! Hallelujah! What a blessed respite from the blindness and insanity of this syphilitic world. For try as they might to shut Him out, the media-led forces of darkness cannot escape the Light of the World. Momentarily, in eloquent silence, Nativities everywhere speak to the devilish rebellion of their Culture of Sterility and Death. Suddenly, stripped of glib sophistries, their frankenstein "families" stand naked before the Holy Family clothed with grace.
What joy to cast aside grotesque parodies and behold instead the tranquility of order and peace: our loving and merciful Redeemer wrapped helplessly in swaddling for our sakes, attended by His Blessed Mother, "the incomparable model of how life should be welcomed and cared for" [Evangelium Vitae, 102], under the watchful eye of Joseph, His paternal protector. No chemically/sodomitically-concocted households here. Just marriage and family as God ordained them.
What faith and understanding wells within us as we contemplate this divine panacea for dystopian fabrications; the bedrock of all that is good, holy and true, without which civilisation cannot stand. We call to mind St Pius X's fierce rebuke of the revolutionary tenets of Liberalism, forever employed to smash this familial foundation:
... they dream of a Future City built on different principles, and they dare to proclaim these more fruitful and more beneficial than the principles upon which the present Christian City rests. No, the City cannot be built otherwise than as God has built it; society cannot be setup unless the Church lays the foundations and supervises the work; no, civilization is not something yet to be found, nor is the New City to be built on hazy notions; it has been in existence and still is: it is Christian civilization, it is the Catholic City. It has only to be set up and restored continually against the unremitting attacks of insane dreamers, rebels and miscreants [Our Apostolic Mandate, 1910].
There is comfort even in the Blessed Virgin's sorrow, which providential distress we share. For the trials of Holy Mother Church always mirror the suffering motherhood of Mary; whose Holy Child the dragon of Revelation failed to devour amid the carnage of the Holy Innocents. This infernal war now rages against His Mystical Body using every conceivable weapon — bloody persecution in the East; legal persecution in the West; defamatory assaults of the press; the diabolical disorientation of the hierarchy — while the "sauna of sensuality" is employed to murder souls made in His image and likeness and every helpless babe.
Deaf and blind
How blessed we are to perceive the present tumult through this supernatural lens; a comforting privilege of faith and grace. Now that "the green wood" is well and truly "dry" [Lk 23:31], how many eyes gaze upon the Nativity but "see not," hear its message yet "hear not" [Matt. 13:13]? How many restless hearts, manipulated and hardened by a consumer culture that has finally commodified life itself, do not "understand"?
For the heart of this people is grown gross, and with their ears they have been dull of hearing, and their eyes they have shut: lest at any time they should see with their eyes, and hear with their ears, and understand with their heart, and be converted, and I should heal them. [Matt. 13:15]
Minds and hearts propagandised by the "insane dreamers, rebels and miscreants" who constitute the entertainment-media industry have no wish to be healed of their sexual addictions; to accept the grace of Christ. They are mired in sins continually affirmed by the press. As a traditional priest explains in his scholarly work The Family Under Attack (sadly unpublished):
[...] The message that the media is at pains to communicate may be expressed as follows: the extramarital relationship is the ne plus ultra of human existence. Everyone engages in it; it is identical to love. The purported universality of the phenomenon gives a person a sense of security about engaging in it; its purported identification with love gives it the appearance of moral probity. By its insistence and ubiquity the statement, re-iterated as by the incessant and baleful croakings of a host of demonic frogs, drowns the voice of the conscience, it penetrates the mind and renders it incapable of critical thought, or indeed of any thought at all.
In that way, priapic media mantras drown out the joyous angelic message and the pure and immutable truths proclaimed by the Nativity; now viewed as little more than a saccharine tableau on a level with Santa's grotto. The godless hordes simply cannot comprehend that "This saving event reveals to humanity not only the boundless love of God who 'so loved the world that he gave his only Son' (Jn 3:16), but also the incomparable value of every human person" [EV, 2].And for that reason they neither perceive nor care that "rejection of human life, in whatever form that rejection takes, is really a rejection of Christ. ... 'Whoever receives one such child in my name receives me' (Mt 18:5); 'Truly, I say to you, as you did it to one of the least of these my brethren, you did it to me' (Mt 25:40)" [EV, 104].
With naught but self-serving to guide them, therefore, the "Me-Now!" generation goes on deconstructing the Catholic City brick by Christian brick. Hence the incoherence, depravity and injustice that increasingly hold sway as the jackbooted elite tie the West in legal knots; replacing Christian culture based on self-sacrifice and love of neighbour (for love of Christ), with a dictatorial culture of "rights" characterised by "exaggerated absoluteness ... hyper-individualism ... and its silence with respect to personal, civic, and collective responsibilities," as Harvard professor Mary Ann Glendon described it.
Process of disintegration
Since the selfish "rights" culture does not breed the selfless "men of goodwill" to whom "peace" was promised, it is also a culture of violence. Herod-like, it targets the most vulnerable. But this calamity did not come about through unbelief per se. The disconnected (atomised) society of every man for himself — i.e., every man his own pope — has been ushered in by the first generations in history to believe in nothing. The revolutionary roots of their underpinning philosophy of meaninglessness are treated herein by Robert Hickson. In addition to that penetrating explanation, these further extracts from The Family Under Attack summarise the process of post-Christian disintegration:
The widespread contemporary rejection of God has led to widespread blindness to objective meaning, good, and morality, so that man has been delivered over from what is objective to what is subjective, namely his passions. In the area of our present concern, the rejection of God has engendered a blindness to the objective meaning and goodness of chastity, marriage, and procreation, as well as to the supernatural graces that are available and necessary for their fulfilment. The consequent deficiencies and failures in chastity, marriage, and procreation have obscured their meaning and value still further and have seemed to confirm that they have no access to supernatural Grace. [...] Of all forms of sensible love erotic love is the most powerful, and, ...when it is uncontrolled by reason, seeks to take rather than to give; it seeks to enjoy the pleasures of love without the demands of self-sacrifice, so degrading the person and treating the person of each party as the mere object of pleasure.
[...] Now it is hard for a man once prey to adulterous passions to correct his ways, for as St. Thomas states (Summa II 153a.5): "the effect of this vice is that the lower appetite, namely the concupiscible, is most forcibly intent upon its object, that is the object of pleasure, on account of the vehemence of the pleasure. Consequently, the higher powers, namely the reason and the will are most grievously disordered…" The disorders he enumerates here may be translated as: blindness of the mind, lack of judgment, inefficacity, rashness, self-love, hatred of God, love of this world, and abhorrence of a future world. In the case of mortal sin in particular, the agent departs from the order of reason: losing his orientation to his final end, he declines into a process of spiritual disintegration. Is this, one may ask, what lurks behind the brazen faces and clouded eyes of the youth one encounters increasingly on the streets of the great cities of today? Are these the ranks from which the ‘philosophers’ are taken with their hymns to adultery and their condemnation of the innocent child?
Indeed they are: thereby handing on the murderous and suicidal "philosophy" to further godless generations. Whether the abortion holocaust ("officially" one abortion every 27 seconds in Europe); or rampant cohabitation (1 in 3 children born outside of marriage in Europe); or the fatherless wreaking havoc in our schools and on our streets; or the worldwide demographic meltdown — the crushing social impact of the self-fulfilling Philosophy of the Void, is everywhere apparent.
In seeking to explain the apocalyptic eclipse of Christianity, however, we cannot overlook the fact that 42% of practicing Catholics have just voted for Barack Obama — the most implacably anti-Christian, anti-life president in American history! In order to save face the shepherds will doubtless blame this outrage on the impact of the "permissive society" we have described. "In fact," confides a Canadian philosopher in response to that old chestnut, "the Church had gone bad before 1968, and the rejection of sexual teachings was simply an inevitable consequence of the rejection of grace involved in mass heresy and apostasy among the clergy."
Increasingly irritated by people "who think that the way to promote the Faith is by going around being apostles for natural family planning, opposing gay marriage, etc.," he insists that "This is a) hopeless and b) hiding from the real problems. Hopeless, because getting people to accept and practice difficult moral teachings is impossible without the help of the grace that comes only from committed practice of the Catholic faith. The real problem is unbelief; solve that and you can deal with the other — lesser — problems of sexual sin. Don't solve it and the lesser problems are incurable."
In other words, it is vital that the multiple crises we face do not distort our priorities. And the number one priority is to overcome the apostasy within; to reject the naturalism of the social gospel which, more or less subtly in a thousand ways, continues to leech the Gospel of Jesus Christ of its supernatural life; not least the message of Bethlehem. "If Christ were to return to earth, today," wrote Father Luigi Villa in 2011, "He would find a lack of unity of Faith, a growing 'secularization' of His religion, another Church without any alleged supernatural [substance], working to find a more convenient new way, to make another Heaven on Earth, as if there wasn’t one in the afterlife."
It is no exaggeration. The die was cast by Paul VI, as in his trend-setting Christmas Message of 1964:
Today, brotherhood is imposed, friendship is the beginning of each modern human society ... We must be that democracy, which now appeals to human society; one must be open to a universal concept that transcends the limitations and obstacles to aim toward a real brotherhood.
The naturalistic line — that Man is good, men want peace, that the democratic form allows the people to impose their will peacefully — was both the leitmotif of Paul's secularising papacy and the fruit of his pro-Communist upbringing (which treacherous sympathies finally saw him disowned and expelled from Rome by his anti-Communist mentor Pius XII). "Ah well," he once declared, "we live in a democracy! That means the people are in charge; power comes from numbers, from the people." And again to the United Nations in 1965: "[The UN] is the ideal that mankind dreams of on its pilgrimage through time; it is the world’s greatest hope...."
"Thus," writes Fr Villa, "supernatural virtues, the grace of the Sacraments and obedience to God’s Commandments are replaced with 'universal democracy' as if original sin and the devil were no more." Dogmas, then, become obstacles to universal understanding: "obstacles to the brotherhood." And so "the Sacraments cease to be a source of spiritual strength and energy for every temporal undertaking." The pernicious goal was truly described by H. Caron in Le Courrier de Rome:
... a universal brotherhood of men of good will belonging to different religions or to no religion at all. It is within this fraternity that the Church should exercise a leavening influence without imposing itself, and without asking to be recognized as the only true Church.
Beware the false brethren of this naturalistic "fraternity" who ape the "men of good will" identified in Luke 2:14! Unlike the former, the latter understand the otherworldly dimension of Bethlehem, as articulated by Leo XIII in Humanum Genus:
Mankind is divided into two hostile camps, fighting between them, one for truth and virtue, the other for the opposite. One, is the true Church of Christ ... the other, is the kingdom of Satan.
Primacy of grace
If this divide has never been more apparent, our baptismal mission has never been more self-evident. It is to eschew naturalistic temptations and preach the doctrine of grace: "To restore all things in Christ." Since grace builds on nature, and not vice versa, only by resolute adherence to that battle plan can we confidently proclaim, defend and preserve the natural building block of civilisation sanctified in the cave of Bethlehem; where Heaven and earth met and married. Without that supernatural resolve, the secular tide, already lapping around our necks, will continue to rise. A catastrophic prospect. For as our Holy Father Pope Benedict has stated: everything that serves to weaken the family "based on the marriage of a man and a woman" is "an objective obstacle on the road to peace. Everything that directly or indirectly stands in the way of its openness to the responsible acceptance of a new life, everything that obstructs its right to be primarily responsible for the education of its children, constitutes an objective obstacle on the road to peace." He continued:
When society and public policy are not committed to assisting the family, they deprive themselves of an essential resource in the service of peace. ... [A]s an intimate communion of life and love, based on marriage between a man and a woman, [the family] constitutes the primary place of humanisation for the person and society. The family is therefore rightly defined as the first natural society, a divine institution that stands at the foundation of life of the human person as the prototype of every social order.
As the abominable American vote confirms, however, selfish CINOs filter that message through a naturalistic lens, thereby negating the selfless work of faithful Catholics of "good will" like those described herein by Ignatius Corboy. We need to clean house if papal pleas are ever to be heard and acted upon by the Catholic majority. Even the Pope of Life, John Paul II, who often undermined his own message by overstating the importance of man and his natural life at the expense of the supernatural life of the soul, insisted on this doctrinal correction:
Faced with so many opposing points of view, and a widespread rejection of sound doctrine concerning human life, we can feel that Paul's entreaty to Timothy is also addressed to us: "Preach the word, be urgent in season and out of season, convince, rebuke, and exhort, be unfailing in patience and in teaching" (2 Tim 4:2). This exhortation should resound ... above all for us who are Bishops: we are the first ones called to be untiring preachers of the Gospel of life. ... We must use appropriate means to defend the faithful from all teaching which is contrary to it. ...
In the proclamation of this Gospel, we must not fear hostility or unpopularity, and we must refuse any compromise or ambiguity which might conform us to the world's way of thinking [EV, 8].
And yet we have conformed. Hence our dire predicament. It is time to ditch the social gospel, rediscover the supernatural Gospel of Grace embodied in the Nativity, and restore the Catholic City.