2021: Another New Year to Serve Christ the King through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary

This is a brief republished reflection on the beginning of yet another new year to serve Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as His consecrated slave through the Sorrowful and Immaculate Heart of Mary. 

Only a little more work needs to be done to complete part nine of "Sin: More Deadly Than the Coronavirus." The commentary will be posted tomorrow, Sunday, January 3, 2020, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus and the Commemoration of the Octave Day of Saint John the Evangelist. 

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

Saint Stephen the Protomartyr, pray for us.

Revised: On the Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord

A blessed New Year 2021 of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ to you! 
 
This is a revised and expanded reflection for today's feast, the Feast of the Circumcision of Our Lord Jesus Christ, which begins the the month of January, the month of Holy Name of Jesus. This is also the First Friday of the New Year.

Our Lady, Mother of God, pray for us.

Saint Joseph, pray for us.

 

Revised: Pope Saint Sylvester I Guided Holy Mother Church Out of he Catacombs

Pope Saint Sylvester I did not abide heresy. He did not ent iable in the slightest. He confronted it as he sought the conversion of all non-Catholics to the true Faith. His firm defense of the Holy Faith as Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's Vicar on earth must inspire us in our day to seek his intercession for the needs of the Church Militant on earth as she suffers in the catacombs as pretenders to the papal throne make their open accommodations to propositions that have been anathematized time and time again in the past by true popes and/or dogmatic councils.

The Church arose from the catacombs during the pontificate of Pope Saint Sylvester I. May his intercession for us now help to bring about a like arising from the catacombs in our own day as the falsehoods of the counterfeit church of conciliarism are wiped away once and for all.

Although so many Catholics in the world are without the Real Presence of Our Lord to adore, those who are so privileged in this time of apostasy and betrayal would be wise to end this year by spending time before Him in prayer as we pray our Rosaries in thanksgiving for the favors and graces received this year, in reparation for our sins and those of others this year, in petition for our spiritual and temporal needs and, of course, in adoration of the good God Who preserves our existence and Who wants us to show forth our love for Him by our fidelity to His teaching and our sorrow for our sins as members of His true Church.

The next original article, "Sin: More Deadly Than the Coronavirus, part nine," is proceeding methodically as there is much material to organize and develop properly. I think that Monday, January 4, 2021, the Octave of the Feast of the Holy Innocents, is more realistic than Sunday, January 3, 2021, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus and the Commemoration of the Octave of Saint John the Evangelist, as the date for its publication.

A blessed New Year of Our Lord 2021 to you all.

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

Pope Saint Sylvester I, pray for us.

Revised and Expanded: Saint Thomas a Becket: A Martyr for Holy Mother Church's Liberties

LiThere was a time when there were real, honest-to-goodness Catholic Archbishops of Canterbury.

Let's see here, that would be from the time of Saint Augustine of Canterbury in 597 A.D. to the time of Reginald Cardinal Pole in 1558, a period of nearly a millennium.

The fortieth legitimate Archbishop of Canterbury is the saint whose feast we celebrate today, Saint Thomas a Becket, who was indeed a martyr for the Church's liberties. Saint Thomas a Becket asserted the rights of Christ the King as the Archbishop of Canterbury, insisting that clerics accused of civil crimes be tried in ecclesiastical, not civil, courts. This led him to clash with his onetime friend, King Henry II of the House of Plantagenet. Prefiguring another English king named Henry (this one, number The Eighth, from the House of Tudor), Henry II could not abide his former friend's resistance to his, Henry's attempt to assert royal power over the Church, leading him to uttering the words that would inspire three of his barons to murder the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas a Becket, on this date in 1170, eight hundred forty-seven years ago now. The latter Henry, the one called "The Eighth," had Saint Thomas a Becket's relics destroyed as his martyrdom was a reminder to one and all that the Church has Divine Rights superior to those of the civil state.

King Henry II had to do public penance for uttering the words that resulted in the martyrdom of Saint Thomas a Becket. His son, King John I, having been slow to learn the lessons of his public penance, was forced by his barons and noblemen in the year 1215 to sign the Magna Carta to guarantee the rights of the Church under civil law in England. This was a victory for the liberties of the Catholic Church that had been won by the blood of this great champion of the Social Reign of Christ the King, Saint Thomas a Becket, whose intercession we seek this day and every day for the restoration of the Social Reign of Christ the King in all nations, including the United States of America. Indeed, the situation we face in the United States of America today is the direct result of the overthrow of the Social Reign of Christ the King wrought by the Protestant Revolt and the rise of Judeo-Masonry.

Nations founded in the belief that men can pursue the common temporal good without subordinating themselves to the Deposit of Faith that Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ entrusted exclusively to His Catholic Church for Its eternal safekeeping and infallible explications who believe that they can be "good" and "virtuous" on their own powers without belief in, access to or cooperation with Sanctifying Grace--are bound to degenerate over the course of time.

Statism is the only end result of the process of decay that must occur when nations reject the simple truth that Catholicism is the one and only foundation of personal and social order. And it is the statists of the present moment, enabled as they are at this time by Jorge Mario Bergoglio and his band of conciliar revolutionaries, who sacrifice the legitimate national sovereignty and national security of their own nations in order to demonstrate their "solidarity" with "bettering" the world on a "global" basis.

A continued blessed Christmas and a blessed Feast of Saint Thomas a Becket to you all!

It was two years  ago today that  was published initially. Perhaps a review might be timely these days.

"Sin: More Deadly Than the Coronavirus, part nine," may not appear until Sunday, January 2, 2021, the Feast of the Holy Name of Jesus. It is becoming quite a detailed commentary. Thank you.

Our Lady, Mother of God, pray for us.

Saint Thomas a Becket, pray for us.

On the Feast of the Holy Innocents

Today, the Fourth Day within the Octave of Christmas, is the Feast the Holy Innocents, the children who were put to death at the orders of the jealous titular King of Judea who had been installed by the Roman occupiers to pacify resistance to their unjust occupation of the Holy Land.

King Herod the Great, whose sons Herod and Philip were no less corrupt and violent than he was, wanted to kill the Baby King Whom he thought to be a threat to his own political suzerainty, such as it was as a puppet ruler under the Roman occupiers. It meant nothing to him to wipe out so many innocent children in his quest to kill the Baby King, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, Who was born in Bethlehem to save, his, Herod the Great's, own immortal soul by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross.

There have been imitators of Herod the Great throughout history who have sought to put to death the followers of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in an insane effort to wipe the Faith off of the face of this earth. The names of these imitators are legion. Their likes are to be found in our own midst today as politicians of both major organized crime families of naturalism in the United States of America, the Democrat Party and the Republican Party, believe that a just social order can be established and maintained while innocent preborn human beings are slaughtered under cover of law and while the Sovereignty of Christ the King is denied in favor of the sovereignty of men and their false, naturalistic, semi-Pelagian and anti-Incarnational ideas.

That having been noted, however, it is important to point out that the Holy Innocents are honored as saints because they died in the place of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ as a political potentate drunk with his own self-importance sought to kill the Newborn Baby King with a furious rage. The slaughter of the innocent preborn today, as horrible as it is and as deserving of our attention especially by means of praying Our Lady's Most Holy Rosary and by means of sidewalk counseling, is different in that the children being killed today are not being targeted specifically in the place of Our Lord.

Unlike the speculative conclusions offered by the "International Theological Commission" of the counterfeit church of conciliarism in 2007, the Catholic Church has never held out "hope" that the souls of unbaptized infants go to Heaven, which is why the crime of the killing of the preborn is so monstrous as it kills the souls of those involved in the execution and denies the slaughtered babies the glory of the Beatific Vision. The Holy Innocents are saints because they were targeted quite specifically because of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and thus shed their blood on His account.

We need to invoke the intercession of the Holy Innocents today and every day to stop the shedding of the blood of the innocent under cover of law, praying to them especially that Catholics blinded by the allure of various naturalistic "strategies" to end the social evils of the day will be reminded of this truth stated by Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910:

For there is no true civilization without a moral civilization, and no true moral civilization without the true religion: it is a proven truth, a historical fact. (Pope Saint Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910.)

Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ must reign as King of men and nations, my friends. Accept no naturalistic substitutes from the "Herods" of this world and their enablers in the counterfeit church of conciliarism who reject the Social Reign of the Newborn King, Our Divine Redeemer Whom Herod the Great sought to kill.

Work on "Sin: More Deadly Than the Coronavirus, part nine," has commenced in earnest. However, it may not be posted until Thursday, December 31, 2020, the Feast of Pope Saint Sylvester and the Commemoration of the Seventh Day in the Octave of Christmas. 

Finally, although I am not going to write part six of "Naturally Absurd" as I have decided that enough is enough, I have included the following paragraphs at the beginning of part nine of "Sin: More Deadly Than the Coronavirus" and am publishing them now in an effort to focus the attention of readers on the joy of the Christmas season and not of the agitation of an election decided by cooked books and will be upheld by Congress no matter how many people protest in Washington, District of Columbia, on Wednesday, January 6, 2020, the Feast of the Epiphany of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ:

Although I was tempted to write “Naturally Absurd, part six,” after fixing a few remaining glitches in part five, I have decided that, upon reviewing part five, to end any further stand-alone commentary on a madness that is now consuming people, including Catholics, during these joyful days of the Christmas Octave without any sign of a let-up.

Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the Prince of Peace Who was born to save us from our sins, and He really, really meant it when He said the following in his Last Discourse at the Last Supper as recorded in the Gospel according to Saint John the Evangelist, the Beloved Disciple on whose feast this commentary is being written:

I am the true vine; and my Father is the husbandman. [2] Every branch in me, that beareth not fruit, he will take away: and every one that beareth fruit, he will purge it, that it may bring forth more fruit. [3] Now you are clean by reason of the word, which I have spoken to you. [4] Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abide in the vine, so neither can you, unless you abide in me. [5] I am the vine: you the branches: he that abideth in me, and I in him, the same beareth much fruit: for without me you can do nothing.

[6] If any one abide not in me, he shall be cast forth as a branch, and shall wither, and they shall gather him up, and cast him into the fire, and he burneth. [7] If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask whatever you will, and it shall be done unto you. [8] In this is my Father glorified; that you bring forth very much fruit, and become my disciples. [9] As the Father hath loved me, I also have loved you. Abide in my love. [10] If you keep my commandments, you shall abide in my love; as I also have kept my Father's commandments, and do abide in his love. (John 15: 1-10.)

Nations that are founded on a welter of errors must founder on the shoals of those errors, which mutate over time and reduce men to such states of naturalism, hedonism and barbarism as to make it a foolhardy enterprise to think that those who do not rely upon Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ and who defy His Holy Commandments can do anything but contribute to the furthering of chaos, violence and national suicide.

It is truly amazing, well, at least to me, that is, that even fully believing Catholics are permitting the joy of the Christmas season to be eclipsed by the agitation over President Donald John Trump’s ceaseless efforts to reverse the theft of the presidency by the cronies of Joseph Robinette Biden, Jr., that are going to extend to the very day of the Feast of the Epiphany of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ on Wednesday, January 6, 2021. Am I the only one who sees the work of the adversary in all this to divert the attention of all people, but especially Catholics, from the sacred events we are celebrating during these holy days of Christmas?

The Feast of the Epiphany is the feast of the public manifestation of Christ the King to the kings of the Gentiles, who bowed down before the Infant King and gave Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh. Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ is the King of men and their nations, not any prince of this world, and it is truly diabolical to permit our attention to be diverted away from the manifestation of Christ the King to the world as the president rallies his supporters for a raucous series of protests in Washington, District of Columbia, as the members of both houses of Congress gather in a joint session for the acceptance of the state-certified electors.

The United States of America has descended into this madness because it was founded by men who had such little regard for Christ the King and His liturgical year as to hold the first meeting of the Congress of the United States of America on December 25, 1789, and I do not believe that it is any accident at all the Electoral Count Law of 1887 established January 6 as the date for the counting of the certified electoral votes and thus formally announce the election of a president-elect. The outcome of what will happen on January 6, 2021, is not a matter of suspense. The outcome is clear. Why permit oneself to lose sight of Christmas joy now and to be so focused on a side show on the feast when Christ the King made Himself manifest to the Gentiles?

This is all truly tragic, and any further commentary would be redundant. No mas.

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

The Holy Innocents, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, The Disciple Whom Our Lord Loved

[The latest original article on this site, , was published about twenty-four hours ago and underwent revisions and corrections during the day yesterday, the Feast of Saint Stephen the Protomartyr.]

Saint John the Evangelist, a son of Zebedee, was the youngest of the twelve Apostles. He was a virgin, a man who offered to His Divine Master, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, pure love in a heart that was not sullied by the world, the flesh and the devil.

This youngest Apostle with the purest heart was permitted to lean on Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ's chest, wherein beat His Most Sacred Heart, at the Last Supper. And it was this purity of heart possessed by Saint John the Evangelist that led him to be present at the foot of the Holy Cross and to be given the singular privilege by Our Divine Redeemer of caring for His own Most Blessed Mother until the time of her death and bodily Assumption into Heaven.

Despite what the now retired Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI contended blasphemously in his Jesus of Nazareth book concerning the "disputed" nature of the human authorship of the Fourth Gospel, Saint John the Evangelist is indeed the human author of the Fourth Gospel and of his epistles and the Book of the Apocalypse.

Saint John is the Evangelist of the Incarnation of the Word whose Gospel provides us with Scriptural proofs for the doctrine of the Eucharist and for the Sacrament of Penance. And the Charity preached by Saint John the Evangelist was no exercise in empty sentimentality. For it was Saint John himself who wrote:

"Whosoever believeth that Jesus is the Christ, is born of God. And every one that loveth him who begot, loveth him also who is born of him. In this we know that we love the children of God: when we love God, and keep his commandments. For this is the charity of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not heavy. " (1 John 5: 1-3.)

This reflection has been revised and expanded in several places over the years.

The next original article for this site should be published at some point tomorrow, the Feast of the Holy Innocents. An effort will be made to finalize the article on the morning and early afternoon today before having to take Chase, our beagle, to the veterinarian to be euthanized as he is in the final stages of dying from a sarcoma that is the result of a rabies vaccination in January of 2014. Although I will write a reflection about the role of animals in the lives of those who choose to have them as pets at some point in the next week, suffice it for the moment that animals have mortal, not immortal souls, and that we give thanks to the good God for giving them to us and we give to thanks to Him for the time we have with them after they are dead. All things work for the honor and glory of the Most Blessed Trinity if we accept the events of our lives with perfect equanimity and acceptance of the Divine Will without hesitation or complaint. Deo gratias!

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us to remain faithful to the Catholic Faith.

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.

Naturally Absurd, part five

[This commentary has been revised and expanded. Various typograhical errrors of the likes for which I am infamous have been corrected.]

This is a relatively brief reiteration of a possibly futile effort to remind those who are still on pins and needles about the latest developments in the world of naturalism that Catholicism remains the one and only foundation of order within the soul and hence order within society. All other solutions are sterile and lead to incessant frustration. A world built on the trash heap of anti-Incarnational lies is a world built on quicksand. What one administration does can be undone quite readily by the next. Nothing can be stable in a world based in falsehoods, which are unstable of their very nature.

What part of the following quotations is hard to understand?

These words of the Holy Bible have been fulfilled and are now at this very moment being fulfilled before our very eyes. Because men have forsaken God and Jesus Christ, they have sunk to the depths of evil. They waste their energies and consume their time and efforts in vain sterile attempts to find a remedy for these ills, but without even being successful in saving what little remains from the existing ruin. It was a quite general desire that both our laws and our governments should exist without recognizing God or Jesus Christ, on the theory that all authority comes from men, not from God. Because of such an assumption, these theorists fell very short of being able to bestow upon law not only those sanctions which it must possess but also that secure basis for the supreme criterion of justice which even a pagan philosopher like Cicero saw clearly could not be derived except from the divine law.

Authority itself lost its hold upon mankind, for it had lost that sound and unquestionable justification for its right to command on the one hand and to be obeyed on the other. Society, quite logically and inevitably, was shaken to its very depths and even threatened with destruction, since there was left to it no longer a stable foundation, everything having been reduced to a series of conflicts, to the domination of the majority, or to the supremacy of special interests.

Again, legislation was passed which did not recognize that either God or Jesus Christ had any rights over marriage -- an erroneous view which debased matrimony to the level of a mere civil contract, despite the fact that Jesus Himself had called it a "great sacrament" (Ephesians v, 32) and had made it the holy and sanctifying symbol of that indissoluble union which binds Him to His Church. The high ideals and pure sentiments with which the Church has always surrounded the idea of the family, the germ of all social life, these were lowered, were unappreciated, or became confused in the minds of many. As a consequence, the correct ideals of family government, and with them those of family peace, were destroyed; the stability and unity of the family itself were menaced and undermined, and, worst of all, the very sanctuary of the home was more and more frequently profaned by acts of sinful lust and soul-destroying egotism -- all of which could not but result in poisoning and drying up the very sources of domestic and social life.

Added to all this, God and Jesus Christ, as well as His doctrines, were banished from the school. As a sad but inevitable consequence, the school became not only secular and non-religious but openly atheistical and anti-religious. In such circumstances it was easy to persuade poor ignorant children that neither God nor religion are of any importance as far as their daily lives are concerned. God's name, moreover, was scarcely ever mentioned in such schools unless it were perchance to blaspheme Him or to ridicule His Church. Thus, the school forcibly deprived of the right to teach anything about God or His law could not but fail in its efforts to really educate, that is, to lead children to the practice of virtue, for the school lacked the fundamental principles which underlie the possession of a knowledge of God and the means necessary to strengthen the will in its efforts toward good and in its avoidance of sin. Gone, too, was all possibility of ever laying a solid groundwork for peace, order, and prosperity, either in the family or in social relations. Thus the principles based on the spiritualistic philosophy of Christianity having been obscured or destroyed in the minds of many, a triumphant materialism served to prepare mankind for the propaganda of anarchy and of social hatred which was let loose on such a great scale.

Is it to be wondered at then that, with the widespread refusal to accept the principles of true Christian wisdom, the seeds of discord sown everywhere should find a kindly soil in which to grow and should come to fruit in that most tremendous struggle, the Great War, which unfortunately did not serve to lessen but increased, by its acts of violence and of bloodshed, the international and social animosities which already existed? (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Concilio, December 23, 1922.)

When, therefore, governments and nations follow in all their activities, whether they be national or international, the dictates of conscience grounded in the teachings, precepts, and example of Jesus Christ, and which are binding on each and every individual, then only can we have faith in one another's word and trust in the peaceful solution of the difficulties and controversies which may grow out of differences in point of view or from clash of interests. An attempt in this direction has already and is now being made; its results, however, are almost negligible and, especially so, as far as they can be said to affect those major questions which divide seriously and serve to arouse nations one against the other. No merely human institution of today can be as successful in devising a set of international laws which will be in harmony with world conditions as the Middle Ages were in the possession of that true League of Nations, Christianity. It cannot be denied that in the Middle Ages this law was often violated; still it always existed as an ideal, according to which one might judge the acts of nations, and a beacon light calling those who had lost their way back to the safe road.

There exists an institution able to safeguard the sanctity of the law of nations. This institution is a part of every nation; at the same time it is above all nations. She enjoys, too, the highest authority, the fullness of the teaching power of the Apostles. Such an institution is the Church of Christ. She alone is adapted to do this great work, for she is not only divinely commissioned to lead mankind, but moreover, because of her very make-up and the constitution which she possesses, by reason of her age-old traditions and her great prestige, which has not been lessened but has been greatly increased since the close of the War, cannot but succeed in such a venture where others assuredly will fail. (Pope Pius XI, Ubi Arcano Dei Consilio, December 23, 1922.)

Every true and lasting reform has ultimately sprung from the sanctity of men who were driven by the love of God and of men. Generous, ready to stand to attention to any call from God, yet confident in themselves because confident in their vocation, they grew to the size of beacons and reformers. On the other hand, any reformatory zeal, which instead of springing from personal purity, flashes out of passion, has produced unrest instead of light, destruction instead of construction, and more than once set up evils worse than those it was out to remedy. No doubt "the Spirit breatheth where he will" (John iii. 8): "of stones He is able to raise men to prepare the way to his designs" (Matt. iii. 9). He chooses the instruments of His will according to His own plans, not those of men. But the Founder of the Church, who breathed her into existence at Pentecost, cannot disown the foundations as He laid them. Whoever is moved by the spirit of God, spontaneously adopts both outwardly and inwardly, the true attitude toward the Church, this sacred fruit from the tree of the cross, this gift from the Spirit of God, bestowed on Pentecost day to an erratic world.

In your country [Germany under the Third Reich], Venerable Brethren, voices are swelling into a chorus urging people to leave the Church, and among the leaders there is more than one whose official position is intended to create the impression that this infidelity to Christ the King constitutes a signal and meritorious act of loyalty to the modern State. Secret and open measures of intimidation, the threat of economic and civic disabilities, bear on the loyalty of certain classes of Catholic functionaries, a pressure which violates every human right and dignity. Our wholehearted paternal sympathy goes out to those who must pay so dearly for their loyalty to Christ and the Church; but directly the highest interests are at stake, with the alternative of spiritual loss, there is but one alternative left, that of heroism. If the oppressor offers one the Judas bargain of apostasy he can only, at the cost of every worldly sacrifice, answer with Our Lord: "Begone, Satan! For it is written: The Lord thy God shalt thou adore, and Him only shalt thou serve" (Matt. iv. 10). And turning to the Church, he shall say: "Thou, my mother since my infancy, the solace of my life and advocate at my death, may my tongue cleave to my palate if, yielding to worldly promises or threats, I betray the vows of my baptism." As to those who imagine that they can reconcile exterior infidelity to one and the same Church, let them hear Our Lord's warning: -- "He that shall deny me before men shall be denied before the angels of God" (Luke xii. 9). (Pope Pius XI, Mit Brennender Sorge, March 17, 1937.)

A blessed Feast of Saint Stephen the Protomatyr to you all! 

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us. 

Saint Stephen the Protomartyr, pray for us.

 

 

Saint Stephen the Protomartyr Forgave and Prayed for His Persecutors

The shadow of the Holy Cross hung over the cave in Bethlehem even as the shepherds who had been called by angels from the nearby fields adored the Infant King alongside the Mother of God and her Most Chaste Spouse, Saint Joseph.

Holy Mother Church directs our attention to this fact today as we focus on the truth that the Birth of Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ in Bethlehem on Christmas Day was to make possible our own spiritual rebirth in the Baptismal font and our birth unto eternal life at the moment of our deaths if we persist to the very end in states of Sanctifying Grace. The path to our salvation runs directly through the Holy Cross and it requires us to be willing to sacrifice riches and honors and pleasures and human respect and even our very lives to bear witness to Christ the King as He has revealed Himself to men exclusively through the Catholic Church that He founded upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope.

Saint Stephen the Protomartyr was willing to lay down his life as he preached the Gospel of the Divine Redeemer in an attempt to convert the Jews who were listening to him and engaging him in disputation. He exhibited the Virtue of Fortitude as he proclaimed the Gospel in the midst of insults an threats. And Saint Stephen the Protomartyr exhibited the Virtue of Charity as he prayed for his executioners, one of whom was the fire-breathing anti-Catholic zealot named Saul of Tarsus.

Saint Stephen's prayers at the time of his martyrdom and from eternity thereafter won the conversion of Saul, who became the Apostle to the Gentiles, Saint Paul the Apostle. Saint Stephen wanted to effect the conversion of his executioners. He did not seek to reaffirm them in their act of murder or to reaffirm them in the practice of Judaism. Saint Stephen did not dismiss or denigrate the gravity of their crimes. He simply did not hold those crimes against his persecutors as he prayed for their conversion.

We must pray always for those who hate us, for those who calumniate us, for those who have done us some injury in the past, for those who have rejected us for one reason or another. Praying for and forgiving those from whom we are estranged is not an option for a Catholic. It is an obligation of the interior life imposed directly by the God-Man Himself in the Sermon on the Mount.

If He forgives us so readily in the Sacred Tribunal of Penance, why are we so slow to forgive others who owe us but an infinitesimally small portion of what we owe Him for our own forgiven sins?

As the late Father John Hardon, S.J., noted in a 1996 conference in Sterling Heights, Michigan, at which I gave two presentations, "God permits us to sin so that we can forgive each other. Let me repeat myself here: God permit us to sin so that we can forgive each other."

A sinner who is contrite and thankful to God never withholds forgiveness from his fellow sinner. Saint Stephen teaches us that lesson today.

Are we going to learn it once and for all?

A continued merry and most blessed Christmas to you all.

A new commentary will appear within ten minutes of this posting. Next up after the new commentary: "Sin: More Deadly Than the Coronavirus, part nine."

Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.

Saint Stephen the Protomartyr, pray for us.

Pages

Subscribe to Christ or Chaos RSS