JULY 18, 2016, UPDATE: FEAST OF SAINT JEROME EMILIANI and the COMMEMORATION OF SAINT MARGARET, MARTYR:
Work on the next commentary, which discusses some recent events in light of the life and truly charitable work for the poor undertaken by Saint Vincent de Paul to advance the Holy Faith, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order, is well underway. As a great deal of transcription was done late last night in the overnight hours before resuming this afternoon, the additional textual commentary needs more time than I have the energy to devote to it. However, I should have it completed by early this evening.
Suffice it for the moment to remind the few remaining reades of this site that the farce of naturalism that is playing out before our eyes makes for very good theater. In reality, however, naturalism remains naturalism, and thus it is that these words, written by Father Edward Leen fifty-three years ago, are as relevant now as there were duing the height of the Cold War:
A shudder of apprehension is traversing the world which still retains its loyalty to Jesus expressing Himself through the authority of His Church. That apprehension has not its sole cause the sight of the horrors that the world has witnessed in recent years in both hemispheres. Many Christians are beginning to feel that perhaps all may not be right with themselves. There is solid reason for this fear. The contemplation of the complete and reasoned abandonment of all hitherto accepted human values that has taken place in Russia and is taking place elsewhere, causes a good deal of anxious soul-searching. It is beginning to be dimly perceived that in social life, as it is lived, even in countries that have not as yet definitely broken with Christianity, there lie all the possibilities of what has become actual in Bolshevism. A considerable body of Christians, untrained in the Christian philosophy of life, are allowing themselves to absorb principles which undermine the constructions of Christian thought. They do not realise how much dangerous it is for Christianity to exist in an atmosphere of Naturalism than to be exposed to positive persecution. In the old days of the Roman Empire those who enrolled themselves under the standard of Christ saw, with logical clearness, that they had perforce to cut themselves adrift from the social life of the world in which they lived--from its tastes, practices and amusements. The line of demarcation between pagan and Christian life was sharp, clearly defined and obvious. Modern Christians have not been so favorably situated. As has been stated already, the framework of the Christian social organisation has as yet survived. This organisation is, to outward appearances, so solid and imposing that it is easy to be blind to the truth that the soul had gradually gone out of it. Under the shelter and utilising the resources of the organisation of life created by Christianity, customs, ways of conduct, habits of thought, have crept in, more completely perhaps, at variance with the spirit of Christianity than even the ways and manners of pagan Rome.
This infiltration of post-Christian paganism has been steady but slow, and at each stage is imperceptible. The Christian of to-day thinks that he is living in what is to all intents and purposes a Christian civilisation. Without misgivings he follows the current of social life around him. His amusements, his pleasures, his pursuits, his games, his books, his papers, his social and political ideas are of much the same kind as are those of the people with whom he mingles, and who may not have a vestige of a Christian principle left in their minds. He differs merely from them in that he holds to certain definite religious truths and clings to certain definite religious practices. But apart from this there is not any striking contrast in the outward conduct of life between Christian and non-Christian in what is called the civilised world. Catholics are amused by, and interested in, the very same things that appeal to those who have abandoned all belief in God. The result is a growing divorce between religion and life in the soul of the individual Christian. Little by little his faith ceases to be a determining effect on the bulk of his ideas, judgments and decisions that have relation to what he regards as his purely "secular" life. His physiognomy as a social being no longer bears trace of any formative effect of the beliefs he professes. And his faith rapidly becomes a thing of tradition and routine and not something which is looked to as a source of a life that is real.
The Bolshevist Revolution has had one good effect. It has awakened the averagely good Christian to the danger runs in allowing himself to drift with the current of social life about him. It has revealed to him the precipice towards which he has was heading by shaping his worldly career after principles the context of which the revolution has mercilessly exposed and revealed to be at variance with real Christianity. The sincerely religious--and there are many such still--are beginning to realise that if they are to live as Christians they must react violently against the milieu in which they live. It is beginning to be felt that one cannot be a true Christian and live as the bulk of men in civilised society are living. It is clearly seen that "life" is not to be found along those ways by which the vast majority of men are hurrying to disillusionment and despair. Up to the time of the recent cataclysm the average unreflecting Christian dwelt in the comfortable illusion that he could fall in with the ways of the world about him here, and, by holding on to the practices of religion, arrange matters satisfactorily for the hereafter. That illusion is dispelled. It is coming home to the discerning Christian that their religion is not a mere provision for the future. There is a growing conviction that it is only through Christianity lived integrally that the evils of the present time can be remedied and disaster in the time to come averted. (Father Edward Leen, The Holy Ghost, published in 1953 by Sheed and Ward, pp. 6-9.)
As has been noted in the past, no, it's just not this former professor of political science and former activist in political campaigns (three of my own and two presidential campaigns) who writes these things. I have only attempted to give voice, however poorly, to the simple Catholic truth summarized so clearly by Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique on August 15, 1910:
Here we have, founded by Catholics, an inter-denominational association that is to work for the reform of civilization, an undertaking which is above all religious in character; 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.)
Father Edward Leen was simply giving expression in 1953 to simple, timeless and immutable truths that true pope after true pope had reiterated time and time again in the last three centuries now. No Catholicism, no social order. It's that simple.
No, this does not mean we go to hide in a cave somewhere, but it does mean that Catholics should stop projecting their hopes and fondest desires into the hearts and minds of naturalists in the belief that "things" will get better. Catholics must act as they see fit in an election year. This does not mean, however, that one has to suspend rationality to believe that a man who has said that "Planned Parenthood does good things" and whose daughter is a complete Zionist is going to make a country "great again" when the sins that cry out to Heaven for vengeance continue to multiply daily,
All is doomed to failure and disappointment if one does not put First Things first as no one who has spoken thus far at the Republican National Convention understands these words written four hundred twenty years ago now:
The more closely the temporal power of a nation aligns itself with the spiritual, and the more it fosters and promotes the latter, by so much the more it contributes to the conservation of the commonwealth. For it is the aim of the ecclesiastical authority by the use of spiritual means, to form good Christians in accordance with its own particular end and object; and in doing this it helps at the same time to form good citizens, and prepares them to meet their obligations as members of a civil society. This follows of necessity because in the City of God, the Holy Roman Catholic Church, a good citizen and an upright man are absolutely one and the same thing. How grave therefore is the error of those who separate things so closely united, and who think that they can produce good citizens by ways and methods other than those which make for the formation of good Christians. For, let human prudence say what it likes and reason as it pleases, it is impossible to produce true temporal peace and tranquillity by things repugnant or opposed to the peace and happiness of eternity. (Silvio Cardinal Antoniano, as quoted by Pope Pius XI in Divini Illius Magistri, December 31, 1929.)
God the Holy Ghost saw fit to instruct us in Sacred Scripture, including in the passage from the Book of Proverbs:
 Justice exalteth a nation: but sin maketh nations miserable. (Proverbs 14: 34.)
Christ the King will not be mocked. He will suffer the sins of men so that they and their nations might be brought to repentance. He is not, however, indifferent that which Him to suffer in His Sacred Humanity during His Passion and Death on the wood of the Holy Cross, sin, and that wounds the Church Militant on earth and impedes the pursuit of the true common temporal good of men and their nations.
Total trust in the Mother of God and her Fatima Message as we pray as many Rosaries each day as our state-in-life permits to console the good God and to make reparation for our own sins, each of which has worsened both the state of the world-at-large and the state of the Church Militant here on earth in this time of apostasy and betrayal.
This time of chastisement will pass. The Triumph of the Immaculate Heart of Mary will be made manifest.
True, we may not be alive to witness this triumph. We can, however, plant the seeds for it by our patient endurance of the crosses of the moment as we make whatever sacrifice necessary and endure whatever calumny, humiliation and hardship that is required in order to make no concessions to falsehoods, whether of Modernity or Modernism, of any kind at any time for any reason.
Let us lift high the Cross of Christ the King, He Who is the King of men and their nations even though most men do not realize this and even though most nations seek to suppress all mention of His Holy Name and mock any possibility that He is their King, the King Who will come in glory to judge the living and dead.
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Our Lady of the Rosary, pray for us.
Saint Jerome Emiliani, pray for us.
Saint Margaret, pray for us.