An Exhortation to the Nation, Especially the Church
by Pauly Fongemie, Web Master
In his eminent work, THE SOCIAL RIGHTS OF OUR DIVINE LORD JESUS CHRIST THE KING, Fr. Denis Fahey writes:
"At the present day, men, to whom has been entrusted the government of peoples, are, or show themselves, with very few exceptions, officially indifferent to God and to Christ. I make no charge against those worthy officials who, for fear of provoking worse evil, submit loyally to the unfortunate situation which is imposed on them: it is the situation itself that I have in mind, and in the name of the Gospel, in the light of the Encyclicals of the last four Popes, Gregory XVI, Pius IX, Leo XIII and Pius X, I do not hesitate to affirm that this indifference to religion which puts on the same level the religion of Divine origin and the religions invented by men, in order to include them all in the same scepticism, is the blasphemy which, far more than the sins of individuals and families, calls down on society God's chastisements.
"Can we have any accurate idea as to the nature of the punishments that God inflicts on guilty nations? ... All disasters which can bring communities to reflection serve for the accomplishment of God's designs. War, plagues, disasters of every sort, more particularly calamities of the intellectual and moral order, can touch them and bring them back to repentance. [All emphasis in bold that of the Web Master.]
"Our Lord speaks of scourges of this sort, in particular of the great misfortune of spiritual blindness. Of the Jews He says, "this people will not understand because it cannot understand, and cannot understand because it does not wish to understand." ... It is exactly the same with Catholic society in our day. To save the social order, and peoples, Catholics must begin by realising that Christ alone is their salvation. Their will is set against realising it, God accepts their obstinate will. They do not understand, they do not see and they can no longer see in Jesus Christ their only salvation. That is their punishment. ... All this condition of things bears the sign and seal of that Divine punishment which brings nations to their ruin. Leo XIII said, in 1881, ''as an inevitable result of the war waged against the Church, civil society finds itself facing the most serious dangers, for since the very basis of the social order has been overturned, nations and their rulers see nothing before them but disasters and threats of disasters." The same Pope writes, "from such attacks made on the Catholic religion, serious evils have arisen for the nations in great numbers, and will continue to arise."
"That, for the moment, may be considered sufficient on the great question of social punishment."
This, then, is the general principle or premise from which we proceed, for it is ever true, as much at least, now, as then in the years just before World War II when Fr. Fahey's book was first published. Surveying the social and political landscape, and the continued crisis of faith within Holy Mother Church, the perennial spiritual blindness that has set in like a never-ending twilight, it is as if Fr. Fahey was addressing the present evils of our day and not those of his time; this is because they are one and the same, born of the sin, the grave error of liberalism, that shrouds us all in a semi-mystical haze, so although there is a way out --- that of the Social Reign of Jesus Christ Our Lord, Sovereign King, and that of the Immaculate Heart of Mary as He willed in His revelation to Sr. Lucy of Fatima --- we do not see it because we "cannot understand and do not wish to understand." [Supra]
What do we mean when we speak of the sin of liberalism? Encapsulated by the text in green: liberalism is the radical and universal denial of all Divine truth and Christian dogma, the primal type of all heresy, and the supreme rebellion against the authority of God and His Church. As with Lucifer, its maxim is, 'I will not serve'. [Dr. Don Felix Sarda Y Salvany, LIBERALISM IS A SIN]
"Protestantism naturally begets toleration of error. Rejecting the principle of authority in religion, it has neither criterion nor definition of faith. On the principle that every individual or sect may interpret the deposit of Revelation according to the dictates of private judgment, it gives birth to endless differences and contradictions. Impelled by the law of its own impotence, through lack of any decisive voice of authority in matters of faith, it is forced to recognize as valid and orthodox any belief that springs from the exercise of private judgment. Therefore does it finally arrive, by force of its own premises, at the conclusion that one creed is as good as another; it then seeks to shelter its inconsistency under the false plea of liberty of conscience. Belief is not imposed by a legitimately and Divinely constituted authority, but springs directly and freely from the unrestricted exercise of the individual's reason or caprice upon the subject matter of Revelation. The individual or sect interprets as it pleases --- rejecting or accepting what it chooses. This is popularly called liberty of conscience. Accepting this principle, Infidelity on the same plea rejects all Revelation, and Protestantism, which handed over the premise, is powerless to protest against the conclusion; for it is clear that one, who under the plea of rational liberty has the right to repudiate any part of Revelation that may displease him, can not logically quarrel with one, who on the same ground repudiates the whole. If one creed is as good as another on the plea of rational liberty, on the same plea no creed is as good as any. Taking the field with this fatal weapon of Rationalism, Infidelity has stormed and taken the very citadel of Protestantism helpless against the foe of its own making.
"As a result, we find amongst the people of this country that authoritative and positive religion has met with utter disaster, and that religious beliefs or unbeliefs have come to be mere matters of opinion, wherein there are always essential differences, each one free to make or unmake his own creed --- or accept no creed.
"Such is the mainspring of the heresy constantly dinned into our ears, flooding our current literature and our press. It is against this that we have to be perpetually vigilant. The more so as it insidiously attacks us on the grounds of a false charity and in the name of a false liberty. Nor does it appeal only to us on the ground of religious toleration.
"The principle ramifies in many directions, striking root into our domestic, civil, and political life, whose vigor and health depend upon the nourishing and sustaining power of religion. For religion is the bond which unites us to God, the source and End of all good; and Infidelity, whether virtual as in Protestantism or explicit as in Agnosticism, severs the bond which binds men to God, and seeks to build human society on foundations of man's absolute independence. Hence we find Liberalism laying down as the basis of its propaganda the following principles:
1. The absolute sovereignty of the individual in his entire independence of God and God's authority.
2. The absolute sovereignty of society in its entire independence of everything which does not proceed from itself.
3. Absolute civil sovereignty in the implied right of the people to make their own laws in entire independence and utter disregard of any other criterion than the popular will expressed at the polls and in parliamentary majorities.
4. Absolute freedom of thought in
politics, morals, or in
The unrestrained liberty of
the press. [Emphasis added by the Web Master.]
"Such are the radical
principles of Liberalism. In the
the absolute sovereignty of the individual, that is, his entire
of God, we find the common source of all the others. To express them
in one term in the order of ideas, they are RATIONALISM or the doctrine
of the absolute sovereignty of human reason. Here human reason is made
the measure and sum of truth. Hence we have individual, social and
Rationalism, the corrupt fountain head of liberal principles [which
absolute freedom of worship, the supremacy of the State, secular
repudiating any connection with religion, marriage sanctioned and
by the State alone, etc.; in one word, which synthesizes all,
which denies religion any active intervention in the concerns of public
and of private life, whatever they be, This is veritable social
[Don Salvany is not condemning the right use of reason itself, only that willfully unaided by grace, establishing it as supreme over that of the supernatural order.]Our social decline hastens at full speed with every savagery [apart from abortion, the abomination of abominations on the natural level, and the new barbarity --- the willful transformation of the very meaning of gender and its metaphysical permanence] known to mankind making a comeback from yore, finding a secure foothold in America, in particular the vulgarity of language, the mutilation of the human body through tattoos and body piercings [and in the extreme so often], the rejection of Tradition and simple decorum, the numbing of the mind so that reason itself seems unreasonable, the violence that pervades in such wise that while claiming to decry it, we tend to become the very thing we say we hate, acting in malice far worse than the crime under consideration. Of course, I speak about the Florida Trayvon Martin case: the purported perpetrator, George Zimmerman, has already been accused of a hate crime, tried, convicted and sentenced in the media and by their step children, vicious anarchic mobs, who cannibalize such situations for their own political agenda, revolution in the name of justice [I exclude the boy's family, which is being victimized once again] exhibiting their self-righteousness in street theater, the glorification of nihilism itself. Having helped to shape and create these uncivilized bands by a lack of constraint and balance in their news segments, the media then proceeds to expound on the ensuing mayhem as if it was all honest reporting, heedless of the part they played. Until there is a trial, how can anyone really know? All of this is the result of our wholesale rejection of the natural law and the subsequent rise of rule by lawlessness in the name of the law, a la, the administration's department of injustice under Eric Holder and the special prosecutor appointed to the Martin case, who appears to have violated the rules of evidence. However, it looks like Zimmerman and his wife lied about their finances to be eligible for a reduced bond. This does not render him guilty of murder, but perjury, if true.
Once God is officially out of the picture, eventually everyone and anyone with a public trust or platform from which to issue "fatwas" becomes his own lawmaker with no checks and balances, other than brute force finally, a natural progression. Now Zimmerman may indeed be guilty of something nefarious or reckless or both. He is still entitled to a fair trial. It is just possible that whether innocent or not, he could face a political show trial to appease the avengers who offend as much as they supposedly defend. An innocent couple had to move under a death threat because they resided at the address thought to have been that of Zimmerman's. Qui bono? Certainly not justice and the rule of law. The person who was the impetus for the threat has not been charged, not even with a misdemeanor or reckless behavior. It seems that the only laws on the books that are rigorously enforced or there to begin with are reserved for those we want to hate with few exceptions --- those who are not politically correct or just plain hapless and get caught by mistake when the proverbial broken clock tells the right time twice a day. [Infra]
Meanwhile US AG Holder can stonewall, hoping to wait out the November election, obfuscating before Congress on the matter of a murdered border agent, a victim of the DJ's own program, FAST AND FURIOUS --- the same Holder who deliberately aided and abetted Black Panthers who intimidated White voters at a Pennsylvania poll, a federal crime, among other grievous transgressions of the moral law under Clinton. To his credit Eric Holder did put a surcease to FAST AND FURIOUS, then obliterated the good he had done with his posture at the House hearings.
Then, too, we have a penchant for enacting statutes that need constant redefinition to meet the new Clintonion standard to match "whatever is means." In other words, justice is now hostage to political ends, which are paramount. Mob rule in essence if not always in real numbers. For those who are still groaning under the onerous weight of "the Spirit of Vatican II 'mandates' " this is but an eerie echo chamber. Depending on who is in power to re-interpret the law is a special form of double jeopardy because it relies on the "law" of public "shunning" whereby the accused is always isolated, tried and convicted first in the press, then he has a tainted jury pool when the actual trial begins, all protestation aside. Not to mention ex post facto aspects. This kind of uncertainty is not the mother lode of confidence in justice, it is injustice itself. Respect for the rule of law decreases at an alarming rate through bad example. People now believe they have a right to cheat, such as on an exam because of the pressure to succeed. A right, not just a momentary temptation that one may succumb to. It is one thing to sin, something else again to allege positively it is also a right. We have always had sinners but never before so much insistence on social approval. A famous judge boasted that she cheated in college, that she was okay with this because it was important for her to do well; meanwhile she sits in judgment over others who have committed lesser offenses, who thought it was important for themselves to do well, too, frequently mocking them in public or using derisive language beyond good form and what used to be considered judicial temperament. Shocking, is it not? Yet, quite predictable, given the descent into what passes for social mores these days. I believe she honestly sees neither connection nor hypocrisy.
It is as if everything that once was stable and ingrained through common custom and common sense is now in flux, so much so, that it is nothing less than sheer insanity that dominates. For instance, in a western state a university has just decided that legal immigrants who are not state citizens have to pay more tuition than do illegals who are not residing in the state who will have the largesse of reduced tuition because they are illegal. Those legals would be better off if they had disobeyed the law, not honored it. Except they are far too honorable to think this way. A side note: if the college is able to identify who is illegal, how come ICE is so feeble in its duty? Again, the eerie echo chamber, shades of the updated Church where all too many times persistent dissent is rewarded and long-suffering, quiet obedience punished, if only indirectly through marginalization by bishops, such as the situation of a Texas priest who says the Traditional Mass and reported on in THE REMNANT last year. So it goes in secular society: at one high school, here in Maine, a student, who was wearing a cross on a chain had his chain yanked loose by another student passing in the hall. The young man, who was hurt in the incident, taken by surprise, yelled out in anguish, a normal reflex action. The disciplining teacher, rather than simply sanction the bad behavior of the one who committed the assault, decided for some inexplicable reason to equally punish both boys with the same penalty. Being human and reacting to unexpected pain was a crime on a par with that of theft and assault. There was nothing in the school code forbidding reaction to pain, so the decision was strictly arbitrary, senseless and cruel. The young man, who related this to me said that he felt alienated from almost everything that ought to have been good at his school adding that he thought "the world was upside down." Precisely. Moreover, he told me that if his parents tried to have the penalty removed as it was manifestly unfair, he would be again punished by the same teacher "in ways we could not imagine", citing another incident where the victim --- again of theft --- was threatened with punishment if he reported it further up or told his parents. He lost all respect in the end as I understand it. It is in such seemingly small events, left to accumulate and grow beyond the reckoning and to fester in the body politic made up mostly of plain thinking, plain spoken people with no voice, no advocate, that cripple a culture and finally bring down a mighty nation, if they are not rectified and reparation made. By reparation, I mean a sincere apology with promises, not financial considerations, which only punish the innocent overburdened taxpayers who are not responsible for the suppuration of common sense.
Just as the horizon at dusk becomes indistinguishable from the land or sea, endangering pilots who do not navigate with instruments, their eyes perceiving reality inversely, our ability to navigate in America's twilight is likewise hampered, having abandoned the natural law, our piloting compass. Everything is upside down, in the Church, whose compass is Tradition, all too often, as in the general society --- the Washington DC priest who had his faculties suspended for acting as a devout man of God who is ordained is bound to do, rather than the unrepentant agitator who is accorded sympathy instead of the instruction she ought to have had, gratis a sheepish Shepherd. I repeat the admonishment above quoted by Fr. Fahey: "It is exactly the same with Catholic society in our day. To save the social order, and peoples, Catholics must begin by realising that Christ alone is their salvation. Their will is set against realising it, God accepts their obstinate will. They do not understand, they do not see and they can no longer see in Jesus Christ their only salvation. That is their punishment." Many many accept Jesus Christ, but it is another Christ, the one anathematized by St. Paul and the one "approved" of by the world, without their fully realizing it. The epitome or standard bearer of this intransigent blindness is, naturally enough, Nancy Pelosi, former Speaker of the House and perennial gadfly of pompous nonsense desperately pretending to be wisdom and the true "voice of the Church" -- her latest assault on reason and Christ is her declaration that the Bishops do not speak for the Catholic people regarding the Obama mandate on contraception. Right, Nancy. They do speak for Holy Mother Church [meaning Christ], however. Which do you think counts with Almighty God Who gave all authority to bind and loose to St. Peter and his successors?
There is a truism or adage about the Church and society: that when the Church is holy in its appointments and dispensations and in its people, faithful to Tradition, society is benefited because the social order and the ordinary social good as conventionally understood and sought is advanced or better maintained. This is true even if no one outside the Church acknowledges this ontological necessity of being; the state of the Catholic Church is ground zero for everything else, it is the supernatural gravity of the world, if I may put it like this. To recite from Fr. Fahey:
" ... as an inevitable result of the war waged against the Church, civil society finds itself facing the most serious dangers, for since the very basis of the social order has been overturned, nations and their rulers see nothing before them but disasters and threats of disasters. ... from such attacks made on the Catholic religion, serious evils have arisen for the nations in great numbers, and will continue to arise."
Pat Buchanan was recently fired from his commentator's position at MS-NBC television, hardly a surprise given the radical left tilt and blatant bias at that flagging network; the instigation for the dismissal was his latest book, SUICIDE OF A SUPERPOWER, wherein he makes a convincing case for the demise of the Republic as we know it, with a Western orientation, a gift of Christendom. A brief aside: an Eastern mentality is slowly being imposed on the nation, one that is foreign to the culture at large, under the pretext of not being xenophobic, which disorients most people away from the inmost soul of long-established daily life, often without their being made aware on a conscious level that this is what is occurring to them. Because they sense a great loss of something indispensable they may not be able to quantify, a terrifying confusion sets in, although it usually goes by other names, for the convenience of the elites who direct things from their walled-in towers, similar to the manufactured crisis in the Church by those hierarchs who are dissenters every one with unholy agendas.
NBC, never known for its love of objective reporting and the truth, but hanging on to a gossamer, flimsy affectation of presenting both sides of political debate, kept Mr. Buchanan as the lone voice of sanity and reason long after Bernie Goldberg's A SLOBBERING LOVE AFFAIR, documented network bias --- overt favoritism for Obama during the 2008 election fraud; hence the title of his book. Liberalism and spokesmen for the cause have their own built-in logic in a manner of speaking [liberalism itself is actually disconnected from all logic]. When the stakes became high enough --- the cold hard facts of reality, a rarity in TV's epic wasteland, the insolent debauchery of all things traditional and righteous --- the messenger was "slain" rather than address the message. This is what they really mean by "tolerance", the new virtue as opposed to the new sin of intolerance itself, no longer a mere attitude. It's the strategy of craven charlatans both within secular society and in the Church, who never impose it upon themselves but are too quick to demand it of the rest of us without further ado and only as they see it from on high. Our elites have no intention of showing any evidence of wanting to wake up from their self-inflicted lethargy, a virtual blackout on facts themselves, and even thoughtful opinion. Amnesia to mask contempt. Well, at least FOX Business channel, through one of its well meaning Trojan horses, STOSSEL, libertarian pipe dreams, smoke and mirror show, had the courage to give Pat Buchanan a forum for a few minutes; the host, John Stossel, formerly of ABC, was cordial as always, a genuinely nice gentleman, who does not have the light of Christ [at least as yet] unfortunately, and bitten by the libertarian bug, currently making its rounds in some quarters in the West, did not accept Buchanan's arguments which are so self-evident because the tipping point for the survival of America as a cohesive society cultivated with Western ideas, ideals, our very framework , and a natural law Republic [a Western concept in legal tradition], has already arrived, the plain of destiny looming wide. It is just too much to have "to deal with" for our by and large all too comfortable elites whose faith is secular and whose creed is eternal optimism about the moral superiority of liberalism [and libertarianism], and that because America is so unique, she can't be destroyed [the imperative]. But, deferring right reasoned decision making, which is what Buchanan is challenging America with, is still making a decision of sorts. The elites have decided, Buchanan must be wrong because "our vision" fueled by the American imperative "seems so right." The height of hubris, conceit, and foolhardy beyond the telling. Every society that failed had the same sort of ideal and always the same erroneous ideas and the will to implement them no matter the outcome whatever form of government existed. A nation in decline does not see itself as it is or else it would take immediate action to change course, unless it intends suicide. And a democracy is no bulwark against egos with increasingly unchecked power, perhaps even less so, given the present state of human nature in fractious discord with the Supreme Law Maker as it is.
Let us pause here for a moment and examine the suppositions of political correctness. The ostensible purpose is to stifle unwanted speech among the masses and those few in public life who indeed represent them --- anyone who might threaten the hegemony of the regime; in truth, it is less the speech that enrages them, but rather the very thought that gives rise to the speech. Wise in the ways of the world, if not those of Heaven, the powers that be know they cannot censure thought, for now, anyway; The idea behind politically sanctioned speech is to habituate the people to censoring themselves, so that over time, the thought, left unspoken, fades into memory until it is non-existent to the point it is superfluous at best. If someone tells you to not think of a certain word, you find yourself almost helpless to comply --- the banned word keeps popping up; not so with forbidden speech, which is overt, demonstrable, therefore punishable, unlike thought which cannot be seen. Human nature is such that if one has to constantly retrain oneself to pretend what one thinks cannot be voiced, it becomes easier and less stressful to censure the thought itself, in lieu of the spoken word, the actual aim of the speech police.
I may not always agree with some points of history proffered by Mr. Buchanan, nor his assessment of the reign of Pope John Paul II, but I also recognize Buchanan's Catholic piety, his patria, his acts of selfless patriotism, and his innate good sense and sheer capacity for unvarnished honesty as well as humility paired with a self-effacing humor, a rare combination in public life today. My judgment is that Pat Buchanan is the prophet of our time in matters of the West. Prophets never fare well among the people, especially among the people who act as gatekeepers. After all, American magnanimity can only carry them so far, for having forsaken the Social Reign of Jesus Christ as King over all nations, having debased the natural law as the foundation of the social order [the general acceptance of abortion and widespread contraception as "a right" and the increasing number favoring "gay marriage", for instance], when faced with incontrovertible facts pointing to our demise as a culture and a super nation, it is human nature to be dismissive at best, when not mean spirited, like those souls who, knowing they are damned, laugh at the Almighty, without shame or fear. Buchanan will survive as all prophets must, for God has created them for persistence in the truth which is their life-blood. In the midst of all of this deception is the forgotten little guy with a family and little reserves, if any, completely vulnerable, millions of them, the backbone, the very spine of society. A crime of deliberate neglect by any reckoning worth the doing!
To cite once more, Fr. Fahey:
" ... I do not hesitate to affirm that this indifference to religion which puts on the same level the religion of Divine origin and the religions invented by men, in order to include them all in the same scepticism, is the blasphemy which, far more than the sins of individuals and families, calls down on society God's chastisements."
The American "experiment" --- its vaunted "exceptionalism" --- is based on illusion, although a lofty one in some ways, in that most people mean well, even if our Masonic founders served the Prince of this world, knowingly or not. For its animating philosophy, in the practical sense, if not de jure in the strictly formal sense, is religious indifferentism, which inexorably leads to where we are now, at the very Gates of Hell on earth. Our American DNA leaves little room, if any, for this truth. If we pretend that things will get better, that they can't be this bad, why then, so it will be by sheer force of our faith in a creed that is suicidal because it violates the very nature of man, who he is, and why he was created, by definition. There can only be one outcome barring outstanding Divine intervention and soon. I tell you this, my brothers and sisters, and my fellow citizens, we are, indeed, under God's chastisement, His instrument is Barack Hussein Obama, who [we know] for certain from the admission of Rev. Wright [finally, on tape], and which was intimated at in Obama's Memoir for his father, found a way to have Christ and cling to Islam at the same time. This always means war on Christ and His adherents, irrevocably. For either we choose Christ completely, or we choose against Him, there is no middle way, by the very nature of things as they were meant to be by our Creator. To choose Christ for some in the closeted churches on Sunday away from the public square in some private devotion or belief, is to choose for anything and anyone but Christ, ultimately. This is why a New York school principal with the support of her superior, could unilaterally ban a song at graduation that said "God Bless America". I predict she will not be disciplined even if pressure succeeds in a retraction of her edict. Such is our plight at our own hand, we are without excuse.
Continuing with the attacks on religion, that is, the Catholic Church primarily and those Protestant sects, although in error, that do acknowledge Jesus Christ as King and Lord, a look at the local daily newspaper here in Maine over the past three weeks --- one per week --- is indicative that the blitzkrieg is in full force. The latest, this very week, was from a Pulitzer winner, a writer who was given a full column to agitate for women preachers in the Catholic Church, a back door approach to changing the unchanging priesthood. He asserted that because all the bad sermons he has heard were from men, that somehow it was the maleness of the priests that was the cause of the poor quality and the remedy? Why women. Somehow it eluded him that women are also born with Original Sin and are subject to the same imperfections as men. A form of bigotry. There is nothing in a woman's character that ensures a rousing homily. This is a personal attribute that is unevenly distributed among the population at large, just as other talents are. Delivering a worthy sermon has nothing to do with gender as a good sermon comes from the heart and soul first, then the head, which is submissive to truth. A bad sermon that is ruinous to souls begins in the inflated ego -- the head --- and then takes root in the reprobate heart and soul.
The author then asserted that the reason so many have left "the church" [sic] is because of the quality of the sermons. As if he really cared. Such a claim is perhaps the most absurd of late. Certainly it is false on its face as we all know. When was the last time Uncle Joe told you he was leaving because he was tired of Father So and So's sermons? If this was the case in re the sermons and was such a priority why he would just change parishes. I have known of a few people who said the exact thing and did the precise thing--- found another parish to their liking The ones I know who left the Church did so because they allowed the precious gift of faith to lapse through laxity, suffered poor catechesis [bad content] and or had personal problems that overwhelmed them in a moment of weakness, such as a bitter divorce and no annulment, or one with an unwanted annulment, only three examples. I noted that in his column this great Pulitzer writer without an ounce of reasoning ability was concerned about the quality of sermons, but apparently not the content, however manner it was delivered. Of what good is an oratorical masterpiece that is devoid of the truth of salvation or just the plain truth for a change?
We have to look no further than our President, held up as a spellbinder. Yet he never says anything of worth that is believable. Every campaign promise was a lacquered lie, not just an honest over reach as we now know. Personally I never beheld anything exquisite in his rhetoric, every sentence came off flat, cold, sterile, contrived and calculated to me. I was utterly unmoved, except to boredom or disgust. For a long time I was the odd person out, while all around me, those who should have known better were effusive with their Hosannas as every day became Palm Sunday; not any more. Edward Klein's best seller, AMATEUR, provides ample evidence that we have been had --- Richard Morris' new book puts it a bit more crudely --- everything Klein documents I already suspected just from Obama's Illinois record and his Memoir, more by what he did not do or say than what he did do or say. The devil is often in such details, provided that what is said and done has enough context for the other. In Obama's case there was no lack of either. I simply could not understand why in this great media age of electronics that people were so ill-informed before they voted. Now I realize that it is only a lack of the grace of God Who "accepts their obstinate will" preventing them from seeing what they really do not want to see in the first place.
God often chastises us through those things we cherish most, which for us is the highest standard of living in the world, above that of freedom, which we too often seem ready to relinquish for simple financial security. It is amazingly easy to deceive when the ones being deceived are almost begging for it by their shallow disposition. This is why even with all that has at last been revealed beyond any doubt about this President, he still has favorable ratings above 50% overall [43% job approval] and the election is a dead heat statistically [factoring in the margin of error]. This is not a hurrah moment for Romney, who will but slow the pace, rather than hasten our death if he should finally oust Obama. And this would be if he holds both houses of Congress in his favor at that. An example: in a recent column Michelle Malkin, an extraordinary journalist and researcher brings to our attention a fact that is often overlooked about some of the Republicans in Congress --- if the Supreme Court does not strike down all of Obamacare, repeal might not be possible even with Republican control of Congress because too many of them are weasels, wanting to retain much of the legislation as it is with a modicum of change. What we need is outright repeal, then a law prohibiting state run insurance monopolies for starters. It is difficult to see how effectively Romney could lead in this regard, given his abysmal record in Massachusetts. He wants to replace Obamacare with his own version, not an auspicious beginning. Or put thusly: Barack Obama, the esteemed elegant rose, now exposed as a chimera veiling a crusty cluster of thick torturous thorns, similar to the enchanting Venus fly trap; but who exactly is Mitt Romney?
The Republican establishment, morbidly scarred by its insouciance in recognizing its contrariness, has an unlimited capacity for rationalization that mars its credibility.
I am a serious Catholic who does her best to think with the mind of the Church and the natural law precepts as if my salvation depends on it, since it actually does. I know I am in the minority for now. So one would think that Romney would be a few more points up than a mere three or four. Not so. This is a media age and a celebrity culture and only a glossy magazine cover charade entices anymore. We prefer the superbly set lie to the straight forward truth. Even when we already know it in our hearts. To think we can be bought so cheap that free is devalued along with the dollar, so that the now disUnited States is on the precipice, poised to become a second-rate second world country, minus the bananas. The socialist do-gooder in the White House with a chip on his shoulder about America, encouraged by his embittered wife [his most trusted political confidante], is but the instrument, not the cause. Oh, I do not hate Obama at all, I loathe his policies, but I actually pity him and pray for him and his family as I do for our country. He simply does not know any better. I am not excusing, only trying to understand. It is personal sanctity we need for what ails us, not sanctimony and slogans culled from a creed crafted by men who had already rejected the true Church of Christ and His Kingship over all civil matters. The Declaration of Independence [from a king] and not a Declaration of Dependence on Jesus Christ, Sovereign King. It would take only a little over two hundred years for the fruits to be manifestly rotten since they were sown in the soil of religious indifferentism. A hard truth, like the Eucharist in Christ's time and still yet now. Of what good is it to gain the whole world yet lose one's soul?
And for some of this we must blame ourselves as we are Catholics, not just citizens, something vital we have forgotten or set aside, seemingly chagrined by the dogma "Outside the Church there is no salvation" and that our conscience must be informed with the mind of the Church, in its Traditions, not necessarily an ill-equipped prelate who utters unfortunate impossibilities. Fifty-four percent of us gave Obama the number over the top, without which he could not have won the election. And look at the defiance he flaunts us with! Imagine the audacity! We are still the largest voting bloc. A scan of the autos parked in our parish lot a few Sundays ago was most revealing, Obama stickers were still proudly attached to bumpers, as if there was no incongruity, even after the mandate. And this from the "faithful" --- those who attend Mass every week, week after week, year after year. How does one explain this? Surely the Catholic people have essentially been de-Catholicized! To say the least. The number of Obama stickers were not the majority, but even one such display of arrogance is one too many. So we really cannot blame Obama in one way. He is merely a scoundrel who is not stupid, he knows how to seize the advantage engendered by those who sully themselves in order to be up-to-date and selfish enough to want only two children, if that. A boy for him and a girl for her --- a particularly perverse variant of solipsism! [See below, the Bishops' spring conference.]
How could this have happened? Satan's plan was ever so cunning. What is it that the Catholic has been commanded and internalized to do every week? Attend Holy Mass. If we won't be pulled in his direction his way, Lucifer devises a scheme to pull us his way our way. The desacralization, the hideous deformity of the Holy Mass and all with the appearance of legitimacy. I would like to quote from another brilliant, incisive article in THE REMNANT --- http://www.remnantnewspaper.com/Archives/2012-0615-ferrara-vatileaks.htm --- by the gifted writer, Chris Ferrara. It is titled The Legislating Church, 'Vatileaks' and Other Iceberg Tips:
Since Paul VI never actually abrogated the traditional Mass—an act that would have been "quite alien to the spirit of the Church," as the former Cardinal Ratzinger put it—whence did this monstrous fraud originate? The answer lies in the bureaucratization of the Roman Curia and the Church at large during the wave of “reforms” following the Second Vatican Council. As Michael Davies observed in his landmark study of the liturgical revolution, "the Conciliar Church could well be termed the legislating Church… It has become a bureaucracy for the sake of bureaucracy and has given up any pretense at evangelizing the de-Christianized masses in Western countries in favor of producing an endless stream of legislation to regulate a diminishing number of the faithful." (Pope Paul's New Mass, 21-22).
well the paradox Davies identified: more and more legislation for fewer
and fewer faithful. Over the past five decades the Church has suffered
the decomposition of the human element of the ecclesial commonwealth in
a manner paralleling that of the fall of Rome, with its proliferation
of laws accompanied by a loss of societal integrity. Cardinal
Ratzinger called it a "continuing
The destruction of the Roman Rite was entirely a bureaucratic operation that Pope Paul VI allowed to run amuck before he finally sacked the infamous Bugnini on suspicion of Freemasonic affiliation and packed him off to Iran in 1976. But the ill-starred Pope acted far too late to undo the incalculable damage Bugnini had done in the process of what he himself had called "a major conquest of the Catholic Church" two years earlier. (Davies, "How the liturgy fell apart: the enigma of Archbishop Bugnini," AD2000 Vol. 2 No 5 (June 1989), p. 17).
As Davies showed, there are only "two papal acts included among the plethora of over 200 post-conciliar acts of liturgical legislation." (Ibid., 23). Those two papal acts were the Motu Proprio Sacram Liturgiam (January 25, 1964), which opened the floodgates to optional vernacular translations of the New Mass that the bishops soon made de facto mandatory, and Missale Romanum (April 3, 1969), the Apostolic Constitution by which Pope Paul promulgated the Latin typical edition of his new Missal, but without abrogating the old Missal. In fact, every single particular of the vernacular Novus Ordo, including the de facto abolition of the Latin liturgy, is the work of Bugnini, his bureaucratic collaborators, and their successors down to the present day, toiling away in the new congregations, pontifical commissions, national bishops' conferences, and local liturgical commissions created during the post-conciliar "reforms." A careful study of the matter reveals that not one of these liturgical innovations was ever imposed upon the Church by an affirmative papal act binding the faithful to embrace it. The entire liturgical revolution—from vernacular translations to altar girls—has proceeded by way of optional novelties approved by hierarchs and bureaucrats at various levels of the Legislating Church.Like the Obama bait and switch, strategists in high Church places who had lost the faith did the same but with more sophistication. We, too, were "had." The we includes many a good priest and a good number of prelates who could not conceive of such infamy and who could possibly blame them? The option became the mandate and the mandate an inconvenient option to be discouraged at all possible costs, including the bold lie in some quarters, such as occurred at a parish here in Maine. Now, the Immemorial Mass, which is foremost an unbloody Sacrifice in atonement for sin, is also a compendium of the fundamental truths of the faith: alter the Mass so that it becomes a Cranmerian meal and the priest "a presider", the faith is altered along with the reorientation of the altar, the new center of worship, the people. As one prays, so one believes. In a single generation Catholics began acting as if they no longer believed in the dogma, "No salvation outside of the Church" and in the actuality of the "Real Presence".
But why would God allow this to happen? Punishment for our rejection of the infallible teaching of Humane Vitae, while issued as part of the ordinary Magisterium, it was in unity and conformity with the past teaching on the purpose of marriage and the sanctity of human life, thus according to Vatican I [and Vatican II in so many words affirming this truth about doctrine] this is equivalent to an extraordinary declaration. This brought a loss of grace so that, because we would not obey Pope Paul VI in this matter, Satan had the power to move our minds to take the option of the New Mass as a mandate to cast aside the Old Mass protected and sealed with anathemas if anyone dared to do what was then done. [Infra] I am speaking of those with power in the Church, primarily the bishops, who went about as if Humanae Vitae was not infallible, because it was easier that way, since modern Catholics were already showing signs of insurrection through internalizing the ideals of religious indifferentism as American as apple pie. They, too, are without excuse. At heart, we rejected one womb, and would soon be a part of the sacking of the other womb, that of the second womb of Mary, the Holy Tabernacle, wherein resides our Lord and Savior under the appearance of the Host.
More loss of grace for what we sowed we would live to reap and reap again when abortion would be the law of the land, the first womb, sundered and violated, one sin begetting the other. It is no coincidence that Roe v Wade and Pope Paul's New Mass share the same time span with the same upheaval and subsequent evils.
The stunted Mass reshaped the priest most insidiously of all, since he is the bridegroom and guardian of his Bride, the Church and its holiest of holies, the sanctuary. Eventually we received sermons downplaying the Church triumphant, which created a crisis of confidence in the faith itself, which was duly followed by a call for syncretism by default through countless sermons implying that all faiths lead to salvation, some more than others. One priest actually stood in the pulpit and told the parishioners that the Church no longer teaches this dogma [a lie, for the Church cannot ever formally teach heresy, although prelates can give the impression it can], adding that he was embarrassed by the former teaching. Another priest in the same parish told the people that it was no longer a mortal sin to miss Mass on Sunday for any reason, such as fishing or sports, and that he never "bought into a lot of the mortal sin business" as he put it . The parents of the teenagers present that Sunday must have really been perplexed. I know that some of them, still faithful to Tradition, were having a bit of a hassle just to get their older children to Mass at all, however dressed. But then, the sense of the sacred was gone for the most part, and kids are not mindless, sometimes they see more clearly than we old do. When I addressed my concerns to the priest, I was publicly upbraided from the pulpit. Imagine such a thing to tell the flock entrusted to one's care for their salvation! If one does not keep the faith whole and entire as St. Athanasius taught, one is a heretic and damned. There is no such thing as a little heresy that can be excused. It got so bad that Pope John Paul II had to issue a letter telling Catholics that they were not to substitute Protestant worship services for Sunday Mass. When I reminded a few ecumenical firebrands who were attempting this very interchange about his restatement of age-old teaching from the days of the Apostles, I was excoriated, one of them stopped speaking to me, as if I had made the whole thing up, refusing to accept that it was the Holy Father who taught this. Slowly the culture evangelized us instead so that an unholy alliance arose, the world invaded the Church. Pope Paul VI surprised himself in horror when he vaguely apprehended what had happened, uttering, "Somehow the smoke of Satan has entered the sanctuary." But a diehard liberal to the extent he would not reconsider --- his mawkish, reckless policy, a complete rupture with Tradition and anathematized by previous pontiffs, sealed the kiss of death to the Catholic faith in the everyday practical sense. A scourge invoked by the wrath of Almighty God. And all in the name of legitimate use of papal power. In truth no pontiff has the authority to change Tradition, especially in light of the anathemas of Pope St. Pius V and his infallible Bull, Quo Primum Tempore . Ergo Mr. Ferrara's exposition.
This alone would bring a loss of grace, but it was only the beginning. The most egregious of all was the sacrilege that accompanied the blasphemy and which I alluded to just above.
As I stressed before, the key to understanding how grievously we had offended God because the US Bishops [along with the Canadian] had decided to ignore the infallible precepts of Humane Vitae in the late 60s, refusing to teach them, failing to instruct their priests to do likewise is that the Catholic people, with a wink and a nod from their prelates began refusing God the children He wanted to give them --- children being a blessing, not a curse. He did not bless them with all the holy priests they needed for salvation, but rather, gave them the kind of priests they deserved, and far fewer of them in total: priests after their own abstemious hearts. A tremendous loss of grace so incalculable we are only just beginning to comprehend it at all in a small way. As a result we had not the grace to resist or object to the despoliation of the font of grace, the Immemorial Holy Mass, the great Sacrifice, which became the great sacrilege instead. Part of this sacrilege is the weekly reception of Holy Communion in droves by contracepting adults, beyond usual reparation.
A culture that no longer respects the sanctity of the womb will refuse to respect the sacredness of the sanctuary itself [and vice versa]. We were cut adrift from our own humanity and our connection with the least of our unseen brothers, as a consequence of our inability to perceive anything wrong with the profane on the altar. A well-earned blindness.
"The first sanctuary was Mary's holy womb, wherein she adored her Savior from the first moment of His Conception through the Holy Ghost. Mary's second womb is the Holy Tabernacle in every Catholic sanctuary. But because Churchmen cast aside Sacred Tradition in their rush to modernize and update, giving us a concocted Mass of sorts, we had violated the womb of the sanctuary just as surely as abortion violates the sanctuary of the womb in every mother. That it was no coincidence that shortly after the promulgation of the New Mass as the norm, abortion on demand became the new norm of society, one transgression robbing us of the grace to repel the other from our midst." [DARKNESS DESCENDING, Ash Wednesday, 2012]
And this brings us to the heart of the matter before us today, the cynical implementation of the contraceptive mandate through raw executive power on behalf of the Obama plan to destroy what was once the best health care system in the world, the envy of other nations, whose citizens flocked to these shores to avail themselves of its treasures. Now, certainly, the US Bishops' fight for religious freedom is laudatory in of itself, and necessary, but they as a body are the root cause of the battle having to be waged. Through their not so benign neglect of the Catholic people [and the society at large which is affected by the dereliction of the Church] the Bishops of America [there have been exceptional prelates, all too few] have brought the nation to its knees before Leviathan, once rising, now fully emerged from the swamp as the grotesque behemoth it is. Today's Catholics either no longer know that contraception, etc., are mortal sins similar to murder and even sodomy, or if they do, they no longer care or fear God's judgment. Does anyone honestly think that if the vast majority of American Catholics were obedient to the fifth and sixth commandments that Obama and his minions, some of them apostate Catholics themselves, would have had the nerve to attempt anything so bold, so impudent? Profligate tyrants who fancy themselves saviors are merely the beneficiaries of the gross sins of the populace who allow themselves to become vulnerable because they bear the brunt of the guilt and provide the opening for those ready and able to take advantage. In other words, to borrow from Fr. Salvany, Taking the field with this fatal weapon of Rationalism that is, recognizing the weakness of the enemy through craftiness, Infidelity or the unwieldy state, has stormed and taken the very citadel of the Church helpless against the foe of its own making.
Listening to some of the annual Spring session of the US Conference of Catholic Bishops provides all the proof ever needed. The topic de jure was "religious liberty", as was to be expected. All in all the various presentations were quite good to excellent and in this I find no quarrel. Having said this, it is confounding to me to see after all that has transpired how blind, blindly wounded the bishops remain. How can they not see that it is their failure to teach the infallible precepts of Casti Connubi and Humane Vitae that has led us to this impasse --- a virtual cleavage from all that is holy --- " O, God, We will no longer serve Thee." Do they not realize that they have been serving two masters, thus, in reality as the world prefers, so that their full authority has been diminished so that they are more ineffective than even the world could have dreamt or hoped for? If the "Catholic" people by and large no longer follow the official teaching of the Church on marriage, is this society's fault or theirs? After all our culture promotes Sunday shopping, yet most Catholics still attend Mass, even if they later violate the third commandment because, this, too, is given short shrift. They know it is a mortal sin to deliberately miss Mass, barring a serious reason because the teaching Church has not let up. They do not know it is a mortal sin to contracept because the bishops have been reticent and or hostile to instruct them otherwise. Of course, one could reasonably make the argument that, if the mass media know contraception is forbidden by the Church, and it is the same media that informs most Catholics, then logically they ought to know better, in spite of the bishops' silence. On the other hand, this is the age of contradictions and we easily rationalize ourselves into and out of all kinds of moral choices, while patting ourselves on the back that we are no longer so antiquated as "to still believe all that stuff" as one miserable priest put it. If the average Catholic family [not every couple is equally fertile, so I am speaking statistically] had more than the standard two children, not only would there be no parish closures, but growth, and a vibrant people incensed by the administration's illicit, unjust and immoral dictum. It would be so natural to the people that even the sordid likes of the Obamarites would have known better, maybe they would have become more adept at intrigue and deception, but not as yet. By the time they managed this mischief they would be out of office. If someone from another planet had come to see what all the furor was about, he would likely conclude, "an enemy has done this." This is a monumental tragedy and completely avoidable if things had been otherwise. Sure, it is about religious liberty, but even more it is about contraception et al, themselves, in the final analysis, because the sins against the fifth and six commandments are the very ruin of this country, beyond that of greed and the sweeping nanny state. These sins are so vast of scale and egregious that human experience has little to compare it to, not even that of mass murder by evildoers, for it is beyond genocide itself, it is planned extinction, an affront to Almighty God, Who is love and generous as only a loving God is, He wills to share His love with the children of the earth, who no longer know they are His. It is the great blasphemy of our time! We compound it by our willingness to remain adamant in sin.
I think that the talk radio show host and writer, Laura Ingraham, put it most simply, and most beautifully, most perfectly of all. During an interview with Raymond Arroyo of EWTN's WORLD OVER LIVE, she talked about the goodness, the gift of love that big families are, that where there is great love between a husband and wife, they want to share in God's generosity of love by having as many children as He wills for them. I am paraphrasing from memory. This is it succinctly and completely. To think this magnificent Catholic is a convert with more wisdom than many a cradle Catholic who intends to limit his family, thinking he is thinking of the few children he consents to. What folly! The priest at Mass today urged us to encourage vocations to the priesthood, speaking of the joy he finds in his ministry. As he scanned the church there were only a couple of handfuls of children present --- there would usually only be a single handful, except this is summer and we have visitors who vacation in our lakes region year after year. A few months ago our pastor published parish statistics in the bulletin, recording the past five years. In four of those years deaths outnumbered births. The other statistics were as bleak, where there used to be two Catholic schools, now only one and so forth, decline, decline and more decline. In the past eight years or so, we have endured parish clustering and closures, while the Evangelicals, Mormons and Muslims are having children, on average no less than five per family for the latter two groups and three for the first, outpacing us Catholics, once the exemplar of the robust family. Do we also have a death wish? How often I hear from couples, "Oh, we only have two children, we do not want our son to be a priest." On occasion other reasons are given, but this is the repeated refrain like a death knell. My heart sinks every time I hear the sentiment. But then, Father never preaches on large families, the sin of contraception; he, too is mortally blind. We have to pray very hard, indeed, if we are but to survive at all. The English lexicon does not have a phrase that is adequate to express our complicity in mortal sin and our everlasting shame.
"Their will is set against realising it, God accepts their obstinate will. They do not understand, they do not see and they can no longer see ... That is their punishment." [Fahey, supra.]
You may be asking yourself, well, who is she, claiming to be a Church loyalist, a Traditionalist to be assailing the Bishops so openly, is not this the same as dissenters and Modernists? Good for you, one should always be ever alert. Actually it is because I am a Traditionalist that I am fighting against anti-Tradition and the influence of those with worldly views who impact the day-to-day governance and strength of the Church. The code of Canon Law gives all of us permission, along the lines of duty [sometimes required, not a choice] to inform our sacred pastors [priests and prelates] of that which might be of harm to the faith, that is to make known their views on that which concerns the good of the Church, and also to do so to other of Christ's faithful --- Canon 212, §3.
Additionally, Msgr. George A. Kelly, BATTLE FOR THE AMERICAN CHURCH [Updated edition, 1995, Ignatius Press] writes:
When the Holy See asked the bishops throughout the world in 1964 about the issue of contraception, all but one of the 168 American bishops accepted Casti Connubi --- Humane Vitae had as yet to be issued. Yet, just one year later, because change was in the air with the expectations running with the dissenters, Pope Paul VI felt he had to act, hence Humane Vitae. [Page 20] I paraphrased to avoid copyright infraction.
Msgr. Kelly goes on to cite the dismal statistics of decline in the USA following what he termed the "dysfunction" that came after Vatican II:
As you can see, there is nothing I have said that he has not also written about and he, indeed, connects the dots from Vatican II policy [not doctrine or morals] and the overall impressions it imparted to Americans especially.
Msgr. Kelly closed his work with a citation from the great Saint Athanasius who fought against the heresy of Arianism, as an inspiration for bishops who are bound by duty and zeal for the salvation of souls to fight against the inroads of modern day Modernism, the synthesis of all heresies as taught by Pope St. Pius X:
It will not be out of place to consider the ancient tradition, teaching and faith of the Catholic Church, which was revealed by the Lord, proclaimed by the Apostles, and guarded by the Fathers. For upon this faith the Church is built, and if anyone were to lapse from it he would no longer be Christian either in fact or in name (Letter to Serapion).
This brief tract is used in the Roman office for Trinity Sunday.
What to do?
Oh soldiers of Christ, oh patriots of the nation, let us arise from the ashes of dismay and discouragement, taking up the banner of Christ Our Lord and Savior King on one side and the Immaculate Heart of Mary on the obverse, never ceasing in prayer and in hope, seeking to sanctify ourselves first and foremost, lest there be anything wanting, following the counsel of St. Paul to St. Timothy, counting not the cost, ever prepared for dissolution if need be. Let us hold steadfast, in season and without, petitioning our priests and bishops, each one of us as best as we can in whatever circumstance we find ourselves, that they may once more preach on the great evil of our day, the most unrecognizable of all, that of the sin of contraception, ceasing not in this endeavor, patient, firm, uplifted by the promises of Jesus Christ to those who are faithful to Him and to the promises of the Immaculate Heart of Mary [Our Lady of Fatima]. Let us be of good cheer and not faint of heart, sober in our assessments, sure in our deliberations, with every confidence in He Who strengthens us and can accomplish the work of our hands because it is really His work. Let us pledge our very lives, if need be, to the cause of establishing the Social Reign of Christ the King, Sovereign over every nation and peoples, in every heart, in every home and in every land.
Opportet Illum Regnare!
DAILY PRAYER FOR THE REIGN OF CHRIST THE KING
Adapted from a prayer by St. Gertrude the Great
Hail! Vivifying Gem of Divine Nobility!
Hail, Most Loving Jesus, Unfading
Flower of Human Dignity!
Thou art my Sovereign and only Good.
Hail! Christ the King! Hail Thou Sacred Heart!
We invite Thee so loving, so lovingly to enter into our poor hearts,
therein to take up Thy abode, to reign there,
not only as our Lord and Savior,
but as our Majestic and Sovereign King.
Come! Come Lord Jesus
and reign here in our hearts,
in our homes,
in our towns,
in our states,
in this land
and throughout the world,
without end. Amen.
To be said either before or after the recitation of the Rosary.
A simple method of evangelization: purchase or print out images of the Two Holy Hearts of Jesus and Mary to display in a prominent window and on an entry wall of your home. Speak simply and forthrightly of the Social Reign of Jesus Christ King [and of the Reign of Mary] when an opportunity is provided, prayer and prudence the constant companions of valor. Do not be the measure of things, give everything to Them, submitting everything to the Providence of God, His Supreme Will, because it is His Will and not ours.
Be thankful for the great gift of holy faith, the one true faith, that of the Catholic Faith, rejoice always, again with St. Paul, I say rejoice!
Let us exhort our bishops and Rome for the complete restoration of the Traditional Mass as the ordinary, normative Mass, the restoration of the Sacred Womb; then, and only then, will God hear our prayers to end abortion; and then, only then will He hear our imprecations for the restoration of the Republic, based on the natural law, which is society's participation in the Divine Law, Supreme, over all. To this end, if we have not yet done so, let us make the FIVE FIRST SATURDAYS of Reparation to the Immaculate Heart of Mary. And if we have already obeyed Our Lady, let us continue to make reparation in our hearts through humility, daily duty, a life of simplicity and silence, in that we have a constant spirit of prayer.
Nothing else truly matters...
And this, my brethren, is the word of God upon me this Octave of the FEAST OF THE MOST PRECIOUS BLOOD OF JESUS CHRIST
Anno Domini, 2012
DOWNLOAD THE DESKTOP WITH THE TWO HEARTS
DOWNLOAD THE SCENIC WALLPAPER ONLY
PRINT ANOTHER VERSION SUITABLE FOR FRAMING
PRINT ANOTHER, LANDSCAPE FORMAT FOR WINDOW IMAGE
This article was written as a companion piece to DARKNESS DESCENDING.