Behold The Free Rein Given To Error
by Thomas A. Droleskey
Although Joseph Ratzinger/Benedict XVI has tried to make Saint Paul and various Fathers of the Church, including Saint Augustine of Hippo, as witnesses in behalf of conciliarism, the truth is of, course, that the false "pontiff's" efforts to justify an apparent "continuity" of "tradition" in the "discontinuity" of language represented the the "Second" Vatican Council and the "magisterium" of the conciliar "pontiffs" have no foundation in reality.
Saint Paul the Apostle, for example, was adamant in his opposition to Catholics giving any credibility to false religions, no less to join in association in prayer with adherents of false religions, quite the opposite of what the conciliarists have practice as they have violated the First and Second Commandments brazenly, openly and repeatedly:
Bear not the yoke with unbelievers. For what participation hath justice with injustice? Or what fellowship hath light with darkness? And what concord hath Christ with Belial? Or what part hath the faithful with the unbeliever?
And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? For you are the temple of the living God; as God saith: I will dwell in them, and walk among them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore, Go out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing: And I will receive you; and I will be a Father to you; and you shall be my sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. (2 Cor. 6: 14-18.)
"We charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they have received from us." (2 Thes. 3:6)
Be ye therefore followers of God, as most dear children; And walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, and hath delivered himself for us, an oblation and a sacrifice to God for an odour of sweetness. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not so much as be named among you, as becometh saints: Or obscenity, or foolish talking, or scurrility, which is to no purpose; but rather giving of thanks. For know you this and understand, that no fornicator, or unclean, or covetous person (which is a serving of idols), hath inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God.
Let no man deceive you with vain words. For because of these things cometh the anger of God upon the children of unbelief. Be ye not therefore partakers with them. For you were heretofore darkness, but now light in the Lord. Walk then as children of the light. For the fruit of the light is in all goodness, and justice, and truth; Proving what is well pleasing to God:
And have no fellowship with the unfruitful works of darkness, but rather reprove them. For the things that are done by them in secret, it is a shame even to speak of. But all things that are reproved, are made manifest by the light; for all that is made manifest is light. Wherefore he saith: Rise thou that sleepest, and arise from the dead: and Christ shall enlighten thee. See therefore, brethren, how you walk circumspectly: not as unwise. (Ephesians 5: 1-15.)
It is impossible to make Saint Paul a witness in behalf of false ecumenism except by attempting to
coerce perjury out of his words in Sacred Scripture, which were written under the inspiration of the Third Person of the Most Holy Trinity, God the Holy Ghost, Who is immutable. Indeed, Saint Paul gave voice to the consistent teaching of the Catholic Church, reflected so perfectly in the decrees of the [First] Vatican Council and in The Oath Against Modernism, September 1, 1910, that we are to hold fast to the Tradition of the Church as it has been transmitted to us without shadow of change:
And we charge you, brethren, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that you withdraw yourselves from every brother walking disorderly, and not according to the tradition which they have received of us. (2 Thes. 3: 6)
Similarly, Ratzinger/Benedict has attempted to make Saint Augustine a witness in behalf of the falsehood known as "religious liberty," which was termed as a "monstrous right" by Pope Pius VI Quod aliquantum, March 10, 1791, as a heresy by Pope Pius VII in Post Tam Diuturnas, April 29, 1814, and as "insanity" by Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos, August 15, 1910:
"Man should use his reason first of all to recognize his Sovereign Maker, honoring Him and admiring Him, and submitting his entire person to Him. For, from his childhood, he should be submissive to those who are superior to him in age; he should be governed and instructed by their lessons, order his life according to their laws of reason, society and religion. This inflated equality and liberty, therefore, are for him, from the moment he is born, no more than imaginary dreams and senseless words." (Pope Pius VI, Brief Quod aliquantum, March 10, 1791; Religious Liberty, a “Monstrous Right").
The Catholic Church: For how can We tolerate with equanimity that the Catholic religion, which France received in the first ages of the Church, which was confirmed in that very kingdom by the blood of so many most valiant martyrs, which by far the greatest part of the French race professes, and indeed bravely and constantly defended even among the most grave adversities and persecutions and dangers of recent years, and which, finally, that very dynasty to which the designated king belongs both professes and has defended with much zeal - that this Catholic, this most holy religion, We say, should not only not be declared to be the only one in the whole of France supported by the bulwark of the laws and by the authority of the Government, but should even, in the very restoration of the monarchy, be entirely passed over? But a much more grave, and indeed very bitter, sorrow increased in Our heart - a sorrow by which We confess that We were crushed, overwhelmed and torn in two - from the twenty-second article of the constitution in which We saw, not only that "liberty of religion and of conscience" (to use the same words found in the article) were permitted by the force of the constitution, but also that assistance and patronage were promised both to this liberty and also to the ministers of these different forms of "religion". There is certainly no need of many words, in addressing you, to make you fully recognize by how lethal a wound the Catholic religion in France is struck by this article. For when the liberty of all "religions" is indiscriminately asserted, by this very fact truth is confounded with error and the holy and immaculate Spouse of Christ, the Church, outside of which there can be no salvation, is set on a par with the sects of heretics and with Judaic perfidy itself. For when favour and patronage is promised even to the sects of heretics and their ministers, not only their persons, but also their very errors, are tolerated and fostered: a system of errors in which is contained that fatal and never sufficiently to be deplored HERESY which, as St. Augustine says (de Haeresibus, no.72), "asserts that all heretics proceed correctly and tell the truth: which is so absurd that it seems incredible to me." (Pope Pius VII, Post Tam Diuturnas, April 29, 1814, POST TAM DIUTURNAS)
"This shameful font of indifferentism gives rise to that absurd and erroneous proposition which claims that liberty of conscience must be maintained for everyone. It spreads ruin in sacred and civil affairs, though some repeat over and over again with the greatest impudence that some advantage accrues to religion from it. "But the death of the soul is worse than freedom of error," as Augustine was wont to say. When all restraints are removed by which men are kept on the narrow path of truth, their nature, which is already inclined to evil, propels them to ruin. Then truly "the bottomless pit" is open from which John saw smoke ascending which obscured the sun, and out of which locusts flew forth to devastate the earth. Thence comes transformation of minds, corruption of youths, contempt of sacred things and holy laws -- in other words, a pestilence more deadly to the state than any other. Experience shows, even from earliest times, that cities renowned for wealth, dominion, and glory perished as a result of this single evil, namely immoderate freedom of opinion, license of free speech, and desire for novelty.
Here We must include that harmful and never sufficiently denounced freedom to publish any writings whatever and disseminate them to the people, which some dare to demand and promote with so great a clamor. We are horrified to see what monstrous doctrines and prodigious errors are disseminated far and wide in countless books, pamphlets, and other writings which, though small in weight, are very great in malice. We are in tears at the abuse which proceeds from them over the face of the earth. Some are so carried away that they contentiously assert that the flock of errors arising from them is sufficiently compensated by the publication of some book which defends religion and truth. Every law condemns deliberately doing evil simply because there is some hope that good may result. Is there any sane man who would say poison ought to be distributed, sold publicly, stored, and even drunk because some antidote is available and those who use it may be snatched from death again and again? (Pope Gregory XVI, Mirari Vos, August 15, 1832.)
As noted yesterday in Another Victim of Americanism, the heresy of Americanism, built on the falsehoods of separation of Church and State and religious liberty, played an important role in the flowering of conciliarism's apostate world view at the "Second" Vatican Council." Yes, there were many other factors that contributed to the apostasies of conciliarism's world view. But if it is said that the Rhine flowed into the Tiber at the "Second" Vatican Council, that is, that the influence of Modernist German theologians and alleged Scripture "scholars," had a corrupting influence on the Fathers of this false council, it is also true that the Potomac flowed into the Tiber. Many of the seeds of separation of Church and State and religious liberty and false ecumenism were planted right here in the United States of American by Americanist bishops and priests.
Indeed, the spirit of the toleration of the "right" to proliferate error freely, which Saint Augustine taught us leads to the death of soul by the spread of one blasphemously false proposition after another, joins Americanism and conciliarism very tightly at the hip. The belief that contingent beings who did not create themselves and whose bodies are destined eventually for the corruption of the grave until the General Judgment of the Living and the Dead on the Last Day have to "muddle their way through" various ideas and beliefs as though the Incarnation, Nativity, Hidden Years, Public Life and Ministry, Passion, Death, and Resurrection had not occurred or that these sacred events no longer have "relevance" to "modern" man, who must "find" truth by sorting through a variety of propositions. This is not why the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity became Man in Our Lady's Virginal and Immaculate Womb by the power of God the Holy Ghost, and it is not why He founded His Holy Church upon the Rock of Peter, the Pope, to be the sole teacher and the sole means of human sanctification for all men everywhere until the end of time.
Pope Pius IX, reiterating the basic truth expressed by Pope Gregory XVI in Mirari Vos, anticipated--and demolished--the conciliar argument it is "good enough" for the true Faith to compete with false religions and false philosophies in a "market place" of ideas:
For you well know, venerable brethren, that at this time men are found not a few who, applying to civil society the impious and absurd principle of "naturalism," as they call it, dare to teach that "the best constitution of public society and (also) civil progress altogether require that human society be conducted and governed without regard being had to religion any more than if it did not exist; or, at least, without any distinction being made between the true religion and false ones." And, against the doctrine of Scripture, of the Church, and of the Holy Fathers, they do not hesitate to assert that "that is the best condition of civil society, in which no duty is recognized, as attached to the civil power, of restraining by enacted penalties, offenders against the Catholic religion, except so far as public peace may require." From which totally false idea of social government they do not fear to foster that erroneous opinion, most fatal in its effects on the Catholic Church and the salvation of souls, called by Our Predecessor, Gregory XVI, an "insanity," viz., that "liberty of conscience and worship is each man's personal right, which ought to be legally proclaimed and asserted in every rightly constituted society; and that a right resides in the citizens to an absolute liberty, which should be restrained by no authority whether ecclesiastical or civil, whereby they may be able openly and publicly to manifest and declare any of their ideas whatever, either by word of mouth, by the press, or in any other way." But, while they rashly affirm this, they do not think and consider that they are preaching "liberty of perdition;" and that "if human arguments are always allowed free room for discussion, there will never be wanting men who will dare to resist truth, and to trust in the flowing speech of human wisdom; whereas we know, from the very teaching of our Lord Jesus Christ, how carefully Christian faith and wisdom should avoid this most injurious babbling."
And, since where religion has been removed from civil society, and the doctrine and authority of divine revelation repudiated, the genuine notion itself of justice and human right is darkened and lost, and the place of true justice and legitimate right is supplied by material force, thence it appears why it is that some, utterly neglecting and disregarding the surest principles of sound reason, dare to proclaim that "the people's will, manifested by what is called public opinion or in some other way, constitutes a supreme law, free from all divine and human control; and that in the political order accomplished facts, from the very circumstance that they are accomplished, have the force of right." But who, does not see and clearly perceive that human society, when set loose from the bonds of religion and true justice, can have, in truth, no other end than the purpose of obtaining and amassing wealth, and that (society under such circumstances) follows no other law in its actions, except the unchastened desire of ministering to its own pleasure and interests?" (Pope Pius IX, Quanta Cura, December 8, 1864.)
A practical indifference to religious and philosophical errors was also at the heart of The Sillon, whose false principles were condemned by Pope Saint Pius X in Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910, but which remained near and dear to the apostate heart of one Father Angelo Roncalli in spite of this papal condemnation, setting the stage for the triumph of the Americanist and Sillonist spirit at the "Second" Vatican Council. Pope Saint Pius X reminded us fifty-two years ahead of that false "council" that Our Lord did have this practical indifference to religious and philosophical errors:
Further, whilst Jesus was kind to sinners and to those who went astray, He did not respect their false ideas, however sincere they might have appeared. He loved them all, but He instructed them in order to convert them and save them. Whilst He called to Himself in order to comfort them, those who toiled and suffered, it was not to preach to them the jealousy of a chimerical equality. Whilst He lifted up the lowly, it was not to instill in them the sentiment of a dignity independent from, and rebellious against, the duty of obedience. Whilst His heart overflowed with gentleness for the souls of good-will, He could also arm Himself with holy indignation against the profaners of the House of God, against the wretched men who scandalized the little ones, against the authorities who crush the people with the weight of heavy burdens without putting out a hand to lift them. He was as strong as he was gentle. He reproved, threatened, chastised, knowing, and teaching us that fear is the beginning of wisdom, and that it is sometimes proper for a man to cut off an offending limb to save his body. Finally, He did not announce for future society the reign of an ideal happiness from which suffering would be banished; but, by His lessons and by His example, He traced the path of the happiness which is possible on earth and of the perfect happiness in heaven: the royal way of the Cross. These are teachings that it would be wrong to apply only to one's personal life in order to win eternal salvation; these are eminently social teachings, and they show in Our Lord Jesus Christ something quite different from an inconsistent and impotent humanitarianism. (Pope Saint Pius X, Notre Charge Apostolique, August 15, 1910.)
Although most Catholics in the United States of America went to Mass every Sunday and prayed their Rosaries every day in the decades prior to the "Second" Vatican Council, the ethos of pluralism did eat away at the integrity of Faith in ways that some saw clearly at the time (indeed, Orestes Brownson saw it as early as 1845 when he wrote
National Greatness), but, in point of truth, many of us see now only in retrospect in light of the harm caused by the worldwide influence of Americanism in the ethos of the counterfeit church of conciliarism that has robbed so many hundreds of millions of Catholics of their sensus Catholicus.
The late John Fitzgerald Kennedy was one of those who was deeply influenced by the pluralist paradigm, opening himself up to a variety of errors throughout his life. A friend of his named Henry James (not the British author who had the same name) recalled John Kennedy's view of Catholicism as follows:
"We talked about it a lot. He found great difficulty in believing most of the tenets of the Catholic faith. Church bored him! He hardly ever went. Religion didn't interest him. He was all for being au courant, very much up to date with the things that were going on at the time, but not eternal verities. He wasn't going to drop his religion. He liked the way it made him special, different in a Protestant world. But otherwise it didn't give him the things people need religion for. And he wasn't going to wrestle with what far brighter, more capable, more feeling people did invest in-'I just don't have time for it'."
John F. Kennedy's cultural Catholicism was certainly in the minority during his day. It has become the norm today because of the embrace of pluralist paradigm by the "Second" Vatican Council and the "magisterium" of the conciliar "pontiffs." And it was John F. Kennedy's goal to increase the influence of pluralism in the United States of America by permitting waves of non-European--and hence almost exclusively non-Christian--immigrants into this country by "reforming" existing immigration laws. Kennedy did not live long enough to see his own version of "immigration reform" enacted into law. That was left to his successor, President Lyndon Baines Johnson, an unreconstructed social engineer who believed in the power of one massive Federal government program another another to "build" the "better" world, eliminating poverty, improving our quality of life, assuring government programs to provide for cradle to grave education programs founded in one form of naturalism that was worse than the other, preempting the legitimate rights of state governments to enact legislation in areas not excluded to them by the binding precepts of the Divine Positive Law and the Natural Law, and by encouraging the proliferation of contraception as part of welfare assistance. Johnson was an enthusiastic supporter of the [Senator Philip] Hart and [Emanuel] Celler Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, which was sponsored very heavily by one young United States Senator by the name of Edward Moore Kennedy (D-Massachusetts).
Although the purpose of this commentary is not to delve into the ways by which this law was meant to engineer a populace in the United States of America that would make it more difficult for what was deemed by the social engineers to be "traditional family values" to survive their onslaught by means of law, Federal regulations, taxation and control of the "mainstream media," it is interesting to note that the late Senator Edward Kennedy's apologia in defense of the Hart-Celler Immigration and National Act of 1965 turned out to be a prophetic description of what would happen as a result of the Act, his own protestations to the contrary notwithstanding:
"First, our cities will not be flooded with a million immigrants annually. Under the proposed bill, the present level of immigration remains substantially the same.... Secondly, the ethnic mix of this country will not be upset.... Contrary to the charges in some quarters, [the bill] will not inundate America with immigrants from any one country or area, or the most populated and deprived nations of Africa and Asia.... In the final analysis, the ethnic pattern of immigration under the proposed measure is not expected to change as sharply as the critics seem to think.... The bill will not flood our cities with immigrants. It will not upset the ethnic mix of our society. It will not relax the standards of admission. It will not cause American workers to lose their jobs." (U.S. Senate, Subcommittee on Immigration and Naturalization of the Committee on the Judiciary, Washington, D.C., Feb. 10, 1965. pp. 1-3.)
The Hart-Celler Immigration and Nationality Act did revolutionize the demographics of the United States of America, aided and abetted by the practice of contraception and the decriminalization of surgical baby-killing in the 1960s and thereafter, the protestations of President Lyndon Baines Johnson to the contrary when he signed the bill into law on Liberty Island on October 3, 1965, notwithstanding:
This bill that we will sign today is not a revolutionary bill. It does not affect the lives of millions. It will not reshape the structure of our daily lives, or really add importantly to either our wealth or our power. (President Lyndon Baines Johnson, October 3, 1965.)
Our lives have been revolutionized by the Hart-Celler Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, and the counterfeit church of conciliarism in the United States of America made its own "reconciliation" with the goals in this act as it celebrated "diversity" and "pluralism" in the "free" United States of America, the land of "religious liberty."
This "reconciliation" involved sometimes very subtle efforts to de-emphasize Catholicism on the campuses of traditionally Catholic colleges in order not to "offend" non-Catholic students from Asia and Africa. I was told by a college of mine at Saint John's University in Jamaica, Queens, when I returned to adjunct teaching there in January of 1991 after an absence of about two and one-half years from the campus, "Be careful, Tom. Things have changed. You can't be as Catholic now as you were before. The study body is different. No more prayers at the beginning of class." This was advice, not "official" policy. I ignored the advice (and I haven't taught there since the Spring of 1992). Conciliarists used "sensitivity" for the "diverse" nature of the once Catholic colleges in their control to prevent Catholicism from being taught by the few professors interested in teaching their subject matters in light of the Holy Faith and interested in helping their students to get home to Heaven.
There is no turning back the effects of the Hart-Celler Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. Our situation is what it is, and it has certainly helped produce a political climate favorable to the election of statists such as Barack Hussein Obama (see an article in full support his demographic change,
Obama victory took root in Kennedy-inspired Immigration Act of 1965).
If we had true Catholic bishops in our chancery offices who were committed to the conversion of this nation to the Catholic Faith and thus to the Social Reign of Christ the King, however, the Hart-Celler Immigration and Nationality Act would have been turned on its head as the bishops and their priests would have mounted massive programs to convert the new immigrants to this country to the true Faith. The "bishops" of the counterfeit church of conciliarism were content to do what most, although not all, of their Americanist predecessors in the Catholic Church did in the decades prior to the "Second" Vatican Council as they decided to adopt a laissez-faire attitude of "live and let live" with the new immigrations just most of the old Americanist bishops let Protestants "live in peace" without seeking to convert them or the country.
False ecumenism demands "dialogue," not proselytism. The once full Catholic churches in our urban areas have been emptied not only by the profanities of the Protestant and Masonic Novus Ordo service, but by the simple fact that the "pastors" in the counterfeit church of conciliarism do not consider it part of their "job description" to seek converts to replace Catholics who died or moved to the suburbs. Many of these church buildings have been destroyed or sold, a sign of the sterility of the new religion and of its apostate "reconciliation" with the spirit of the world.
The free reign of error that has always existed in the United States of America (see
Every Error Imaginable) has been celebrated rather than condemned by the Americanist "bishops" in the past and by their conciliarist successors in recent decades, leaving untold millions of souls to wander in the darkness as social conditions in this country have deteriorated sharply as a result. Yes, indeed, my friends,
Apostasy Has Consequences.
We must turn to Our Lady in the midst of the free rein to error that has always been given in the United States of America, a free rein of error that has been endorsed and celebrated by the counterfeit church of conciliarism. We must entreat Our Lady to send us all of the graces won for us by her Divine Son, Our Blessed Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ, by the shedding of every single drop of His Most Precious Blood on the wood of the Holy Cross to help us make reparation for our own many sins, each of which has worsened the state of the Church Militant on earth and the world-at-large. We are worse than fools if we think that we do not bear a large part of the blame for the state of the Church Militant and the world. We must ask Our Lady to give us the humility to recognize how sinful we have been, how lukewarm we have been, how tepid and irregular in our prayers we have been, begging her--truly begging her--to help us grow in deep and intense spiritual fervor as we pray as many Rosaries each day as our states-in-life permit.
Saint Monica prayed every day for twenty years for the conversion of her wayward son, Augustine, who was baptized at the hands of the great Saint Ambrose, the Archbishop of Milan, during the Easter Vigil in 387 A.D. And what great work Saint Augustine did in defense of the Catholic Faith and in opposition to the heresies of his day, noting, of course that no one can adhere to even a single heresy and remain a member of the Catholic Church in good standing. (See Pope Leo XIII, Satis Cognitum, Number 9, June 29, 1896.)
We must pray for the conversion of those who seem to us to be the most unlikely to convert. We must pray for the conversion of our nation to the true Faith, outside of which there is no salvation and without which there can be no true social order.
Unlikely? So was the conversion of Saint Augustine, who wrote the following in his Confessions about his dear, long-suffering mother and her final words to him as she neared the end of her earthly life:
Thus modestly and soberly brought up, she was made subject to her parents by thee, rather more than by her parents to thee. She arrived at a marriageable age, and she was given to a husband whom she served as her lord. And she busied herself to gain him to thee, preaching thee to him by her behavior, in which thou madest her fair and reverently amiable, and admirable to her husband. For she endured with patience his infidelity and never had any dissension with her husband on this account. For she waited for thy mercy upon him until, by believing in thee, he might become chaste.
Moreover, even though he was earnest in friendship, he was also violent in anger; but she had learned that an angry husband should not be resisted, either in deed or in word. But as soon as he had grown calm and was tranquil, and she saw a fitting moment, she would give him a reason for her conduct, if he had been excited unreasonably. As a result, while many matrons whose husbands were more gentle than hers bore the marks of blows on their disfigured faces, and would in private talk blame the behavior of their husbands, she would blame their tongues, admonishing them seriously -- though in a jesting manner -- that from the hour they heard what are called the matrimonial tablets read to them, they should think of them as instruments by which they were made servants. So, always being mindful of their condition, they ought not to set themselves up in opposition to their lords. And, knowing what a furious, bad-tempered husband she endured, they marveled that it had never been rumored, nor was there any mark to show, that Patricius had ever beaten his wife, or that there had been any domestic strife between them, even for a day. And when they asked her confidentially the reason for this, she taught them the rule I have mentioned. Those who observed it confirmed the wisdom of it and rejoiced; those who did not observe it were bullied and vexed.
20. Even her mother-in-law, who was at first prejudiced against her by the whisperings of malicious servants, she conquered by submission, persevering in it with patience and meekness; with the result that the mother-in-law told her son of the tales of the meddling servants which had disturbed the domestic peace between herself and her daughter-in-law and begged him to punish them for it. In conformity with his mother's wish, and in the interest of family discipline to insure the future harmony of its members, he had those servants beaten who were pointed out by her who had discovered them; and she promised a similar reward to anyone else who, thinking to please her, should say anything evil of her daughter-in-law. After this no one dared to do so, and they lived together with a wonderful sweetness of mutual good will.
21. This other great gift thou also didst bestow, O my God, my Mercy, upon that good handmaid of thine, in whose womb thou didst create me. It was that whenever she could she acted as a peacemaker between any differing and discordant spirits, and when she heard very bitter things on either side of a controversy -- the kind of bloated and undigested discord which often belches forth bitter words, when crude malice is breathed out by sharp tongues to a present friend against an absent enemy -- she would disclose nothing about the one to the other except what might serve toward their reconciliation. This might seem a small good to me if I did not know to my sorrow countless persons who, through the horrid and far-spreading infection of sin, not only repeat to enemies mutually enraged things said in passion against each other, but also add some things that were never said at all. It ought not to be enough in a truly humane man merely not to incite or increase the enmities of men by evil-speaking; he ought likewise to endeavor by kind words to extinguish them. Such a one was she -- and thou, her most intimate instructor, didst teach her in the school of her heart.
22. Finally, her own husband, now toward the end of his earthly existence, she won over to thee. Henceforth, she had no cause to complain of unfaithfulness in him, which she had endured before he became one of the faithful. She was also the servant of thy servants. All those who knew her greatly praised, honored, and loved thee in her because, through the witness of the fruits of a holy life, they recognized thee present in her heart. For she had "been the wife of one man," had honored her parents, had guided her house in piety, was highly reputed for good works, and brought up her children, travailing in labor with them as often as she saw them swerving from thee. Lastly, to all of us, O Lord -- since of thy favor thou allowest thy servants to speak -- to all of us who lived together in that association before her death in thee she devoted such care as she might have if she had been mother of us all; she served us as if she had been the daughter of us all.
As the day now approached on which she was to depart this life -- a day which thou knewest, but which we did not -- it happened (though I believe it was by thy secret ways arranged) that she and I stood alone, leaning in a certain window from which the garden of the house we occupied at Ostia could be seen. Here in this place, removed from the crowd, we were resting ourselves for the voyage after the fatigues of a long journey.
We were conversing alone very pleasantly and "forgetting those things which are past, and reaching forward toward those things which are future." We were in the present -- and in the presence of Truth (which thou art) -- discussing together what is the nature of the eternal life of the saints: which eye has not seen, nor ear heard, neither has entered into the heart of man.We opened wide the mouth of our heart, thirsting for those supernal streams of thy fountain, "the fountain of life" which is with thee, that we might be sprinkled with its waters according to our capacity and might in some measure weigh the truth of so profound a mystery.
24. And when our conversation had brought us to the point where the very highest of physical sense and the most intense illumination of physical light seemed, in comparison with the sweetness of that life to come, not worthy of comparison, nor even of mention, we lifted ourselves with a more ardent love toward the Selfsame, and we gradually passed through all the levels of bodily objects, and even through the heaven itself, where the sun and moon and stars shine on the earth. Indeed, we soared higher yet by an inner musing, speaking and marveling at thy works.
And we came at last to our own minds and went beyond them, that we might climb as high as that region of unfailing plenty where thou feedest Israel forever with the food of truth, where life is that Wisdom by whom all things are made, both which have been and which are to be. Wisdom is not made, but is as she has been and forever shall be; for "to have been" and "to be hereafter" do not apply to her, but only "to be," because she is eternal and "to have been" and "to be hereafter" are not eternal.
And while we were thus speaking and straining after her, we just barely touched her with the whole effort of our hearts. Then with a sigh, leaving the first fruits of the Spirit bound to that ecstasy, we returned to the sounds of our own tongue, where the spoken word had both beginning and end. But what is like to thy Word, our Lord, who remaineth in himself without becoming old, and "makes all things new"?
What we said went something like this: "If to any man the tumult of the flesh were silenced; and the phantoms of earth and waters and air were silenced; and the poles were silent as well; indeed, if the very soul grew silent to herself, and went beyond herself by not thinking of herself; if fancies and imaginary revelations were silenced; if every tongue and every sign and every transient thing -- for actually if any man could hear them, all these would say, 'We did not create ourselves, but were created by Him who abides forever' -- and if, having uttered this, they too should be silent, having stirred our ears to hear him who created them; and if then he alone spoke, not through them but by himself, that we might hear his word, not in fleshly tongue or angelic voice, nor sound of thunder, nor the obscurity of a parable, but might hear him -- him for whose sake we love these things -- if we could hear him without these, as we two now strained ourselves to do, we then with rapid thought might touch on that Eternal Wisdom which abides over all. And if this could be sustained, and other visions of a far different kind be taken away, and this one should so ravish and absorb and envelop its beholder in these inward joys that his life might be eternally like that one moment of knowledge which we now sighed after -- would not _this_ be the reality of the saying, 'Enter into the joy of thy Lord'? But when shall such a thing be? Shall it not be 'when we all shall rise again,' and shall it not be that 'all things will be changed'?"
Such a thought I was expressing, and if not in this manner and in these words, still, O Lord, thou knowest that on that day we were talking thus and that this world, with all its joys, seemed cheap to us even as we spoke. Then my mother said: "Son, for myself I have no longer any pleasure in anything in this life. Now that my hopes in this world are satisfied, I do not know what more I want here or why I am here. There was indeed one thing for which I wished to tarry a little in this life, and that was that I might see you a Catholic Christian before I died. My God hath answered this more than abundantly, so that I see you now made his servant and spurning all earthly happiness. What more am I to do here?" (Chapters 9 and 10 of Saint Augustine's Confessions; this site has the whole book online!)
Can we not make this prayer of Saint Monica for her son a prayer that we can pray for our own country?
May our fidelity to Our Lady's Fatima Message help to bring about the day of the Triumph of her Immaculate Heart, a day on which there will be a country called the Catholic States of America, a country where people of different ethnicities and races live and work for the greater honor and glory of the Most Holy Trinity as the clients of the Immaculate Heart of Mary to the shouts of:
Vivat Christus Rex! Viva Cristo Rey!
Isn't it time to pray a Rosary now?
Immaculate Heart of Mary, triumph soon.
Viva Cristo Rey! Vivat Christus Rex!
Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us.
Saint Joseph, pray for us.
Saints Peter and Paul, pray for us.
Saint John the Baptist, pray for us.
Saint John the Evangelist, pray for us.
Saint Michael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Gabriel the Archangel, pray for us.
Saint Raphael the Archangel, pray for us.
Saints Joachim and Anne, pray for us.
Saints Caspar, Melchior and Balthasar, pray for us.
Saint Augustine of Hippo, pray for us.
Saint Monica, pray for us.
Saint Ambrose, pray for us.
See also: A Litany of Saints