Twentieth Sunday Per Annum (C) August 18, 2019.
Do you think that I have come to bring peace to the earth? No, I tell you, but rather division! (Lk. 12:51). ⧾
These words are uncomfortable at first hearing, but they are true. Jesus Christ is truth incarnate and truth divides. We preach Christ crucified, a stumbling block to Jews and folly to Gentiles, but to those who are called, both Jews and Greeks, Christ the power of God and the wisdom of God (1 Cor. 1:22-23). Why was the Prophet Jeremiah thrown in the cistern? Because he spoke the truth and his words were unwelcome. There are many words used to describe those who tell the truth: extremists, fanatics, phobics; with this last one, there is no end to the prefixes…homophobic, transphobic, xenophobic, islamophobic. Ours is a culture where it seems that everyone is easily triggered and certain classes of people enjoy superior status. In the dictatorship of relativism that now governs most of the world, truth has become hate speech; and lies – violations of the truth – are enshrined in unjust laws.
I make note of this because you may have heard that on Saturday, August 17th, in Ottawa, our nation’s capital, at a venue called the Koven, a mere five minute walk from the Cathedral of Notre Dame, the Satanic Temple of Canada held what is being billed as Canada’s first public black mass. A so called black mass is a parody of the Catholic Holy Sacrifice of the Mass. It was a blasphemous, demonic act which includes the profanation of the Blessed Sacrament. It is reported that at least four priests will join the lay faithful praying in reparation near this venue. On Thursday evening at our High Mass I spoke to some young people who planned to go to Ottawa to pray in defence of our faith. On Saturday morning the Archbishop of Ottawa was scheduled to offer a Mass in reparation for what took place last night. In response to enquiries from the archdiocese, the organizer of the event said that the ritual would involve blasphemy but that a consecrated host will not be used. This is in no way reassuring. Would you take the words of those who worship the father of lies at face value?
You may be thinking, is this not illegal? The answer is no. The only law that might have made an appeal possible, the blasphemous libel law, was repealed in December 2018. Do you think that our politicians would tolerate a similar attack on any other religious group? Christians are today the most persecuted people in the world. The Middle East has been ethnically cleansed of Christians and in our nation, we Catholics who have given our nation the foundations for almost everything that makes Canada the envy of the world, are now being vilified and openly persecuted.
This is happening almost everywhere in the Western world. The culture war which many foolishly choose to ignore is heating up. In France, on an almost daily basis churches are desecrated in ways that defy description. Also in France, where August 15th the Feast of Our Lady’s Assumption is both a public holiday and a holy day of obligation for Catholics, a Marian Procession had to be guarded by the army. Yes, you heard correctly, the army. Why? Who else besides Satanists has a pathological hatred of Christians? At the shrine of Our Lady of Fatima in Portugal just this past week, four of the Stations of the Cross were vandalized and desecrated. Why are we reticent to name the perpetrators of these heinous acts? I think we are all familiar with this saying of Edmud Burke: The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good people to do nothing.
Our struggle is not simply with the evil forces of this world. St. Paul reminds us that our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms (Eph. 6:12). St. Peter exhorts us to prayer and vigilance: Be sober, be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour. Resist him in your faith (1 Pt. 5:8-9). I am inviting you to do something this coming week. This coming Thursday, the Feast of Our Lady’s Queenship, we will have a Day of Prayer and Reparation. We will pray the Holy Rosary throughout the day before the Blessed Sacrament Exposed in our Chapel. In view of all that is happening we must turn to the Holy Eucharist with renewed focus and faith because the Eucharist is Jesus truly present among us. We will pray that God may hasten the Triumph of Our Lady’s Immaculate Heart and restore our Church, our nation and the world. We know from divine revelation that a time will come when the persecution of the Church will be experienced throughout the world and at that point we will have entered into the time of the apocalypse. It is my studied opinion that this is now upon us and we must pray to persevere in the faith. This does not mean that the world will end; but it means that time of the Church’s ultimate trial has begun (Cf. Catechism of the Catholic Church, 675-677). Will we remain faithful?
There is a proverb which says that the darkest hour is just before the dawn. On the Feasts of Our Lady we sing, Mary the dawn, Christ the Perfect Day, Mary the gate, Christ the Heavenly Way. Our Lady has assured us that in the end her Immaculate Heart will triumph; but we must also pray that we may persevere in this time of trial; and as Our Lady and Our Lord’s most faithful disciples consoled Him as he hung upon the Cross, so we must console Him as these blasphemies and offences against Him are being committed so openly. The destruction of the Catholic Church is the stated aim of the devil, for the Church is the Mystical Body of Christ on earth. The devil hates Christ, he hates the race of Christ and he hates the Church of Christ. This truth explains much of the history of the last hundred years; especially the genocides of the Armenians, the Ukrainian Holodomor, the Jewish Shoah, and of course the near destruction of the Russian Orthodox Church by the Soviet Communists.
Pray the Rosary every day. Pray the prayer to St. Michael the Archangel. We should all know it by now. Foster in yourselves and in others a deep devotion to St. Joseph, the Patron of the Universal Church and of our nation. May St. Joseph, the Terror of Demons extend his fatherly protection over our country and especially our children in these our troubled times.⧾