Fidelity or Idolatry? The conflict behind us, the crisis among us, the choice before us

To lie and mislead about evil is to be at the service of idolatry. To cling to position and power rather than confess the truth is a form of idolatry.

(Image: Ryk Porras/Unsplash.com)

“Idolatry not only refers to false pagan worship. It remains a constant temptation to faith. Idolatry consists in divinizing what is not God.” — Catechism of the Catholic Church, 2113

“For the grace of God has appeared for the salvation of all men, training us to renounce irreligion and worldly passions, and to live sober, upright, and godly lives in this world…” — Titus 2:11-12

This past summer, shortly after the news broke about Theodore McCarrick’s many alleged acts of abuse and the cover-ups of the same, I asked a young priest (who had spent many years in Rome) what he thought of the idea that the entire sordid matter was first and foremost about homosexuality. “It is all about homosexuality,” he said, and then added, “and it is not about homosexuality.” His point, I think, is that any explanation or analysis that avoids the fact of homosexual actions, predatory behavior, and groups of homosexually-active clerics covering up for each other is a false narrative. But the deeper problem (and that really is saying something) is a profound lack of fidelity and a devastating, soul-destroying embrace of idolatry.

Idolatry is a topic that has long fascinated me and 2018 was, in far too many ways, a year filled with numerous examples and intimations of idolatry.

For those of us who work in Catholic news and follow closely the many tangled and discouraging events in the Church, terms such as “abuse” and “scandal” have become commonplace, a sad part of the daily grind. The first half of 2018 was discouraging; the second half of the year was almost beyond description—or at least description fit for print. Any morning free and clear of bad or worse news was usually just a passing eye of the hurricane, as more revelations, accusations, or pontifications would surely come before the day would slide into a dull darkness analogous to the grotesque gloom enveloping the Church.

But it is within darkness, as Saint John’s great Prologue indicates, that God chooses to reveal his glory, if only we will see it: “The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it” (Jn 1:5). As any artist or photographer can tell you, it is darkness that reveals form and shape—not on its own, of course, but because of how it provides contrast. As such, it distinguishes and separates. And so the Evangelist, in the famous third chapter of his Gospel, writes:

And this is the judgment, that the light has come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. For every one who does evil hates the light, and does not come to the light, lest his deeds should be exposed. (Jn 3:19-20).

The connection to certain revelations of 2018 are obvious. But what has this to do with idolatry? Everything.

There have been countless (and necessary) pieces of analysis written about McCarrick’s evil actions, Viganó’s surprising testimonies, Pope Francis’ promises (and scoldings), and a host of related topics. But few of them, from what I’ve seen, attempt to reflect on matters with reference to the scope of Scripture and salvation history.

In short, while Scripture has numerous themes and can be read on different levels (or in varied senses), the heavy thread of fidelity versus idolatry runs through it like blood in the veins—from the Fall to the Golden Calf, from Solomon’s slide to Daniel’s stand, from Peter’s denial to Peter’s restoration, from the failures of the seven churches to the triumph of the saints who stand in the throne room of heaven. “Idolatry,” as the Catechism summarizes it, “consists in divinizing what is not God.” And Scripture is filled with stories of men and women trying to divinize and worship people, objects, and even experiences.

There are dozens of references to idols and idolatry throughout the Bible, but even that number doesn’t do justice to the deep focus so often placed on conflicts between worshipping the one, true God and following after false gods and graven images. “The history of Israel also shows us the temptation of unbelief to which the people yielded more than once,” wrote Pope Francis in Lumen Fidei, his encyclical on faith. “Here the opposite of faith is shown to be idolatry.” And fidelity (fidelitas) is faithful devotion. It is, it can be said, the living out of faith in a spirit of worship and self-gift, demonstrated by inward disposition and outward moral uprightness.

There is, after all, a reason that the heart of the Torah is found in the words: “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD; and you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your might” (Deut 6:4-5). Note that the people are not told to merely acknowledge or serve God, but to love Him. Completely. This same uncompromising demand is made of by Jesus, who tells the lawyer: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment” (Mt 22:37-38).

The same tension and conflict is at the heart of our lives today. Technology and modernity have not done away with idols; they may, in fact, have spawned spawned countless new variations on the ancient themes. Idolatry “remains a constant temptation to faith” (CCC 2113) precisely because we are made to worship—that is, to declare, profess, and proclaim that God alone is worthy of our praise and adoration—and we will either worship God or something else. And “if you do not worship God,” wrote Archbishop Fulton Sheen, “you worship something, and nine times out of ten it will be yourself. If there is no God, then you are a god” with your own law, your own rules, and, essentially, your own religion.

And what do these numerous, autonomous little gods do? They use, they abuse, they lie, they indulge, they corrupt, and they destroy.

To lie and mislead about evil is to be at the service of idolatry. To cling to position and power rather than confess the truth is a form of idolatry. Idols claim to be good while undermining and eventually replacing the good—that is, God. After Adam and Eve had embraced the lie of the serpent, and thus grabbed ahold of and clutched their idol (that is, themselves), what then did they do? They tried to hide from God, and then they lied to God. Their idolatry created chaos, distorted the truth, and severed communion.

This deviant dynamic is captured well in Lumen Fidei:

Once man has lost the fundamental orientation which unifies his existence, he breaks down into the multiplicity of his desires; in refusing to await the time of promise, his life-story disintegrates into a myriad of unconnected instants. Idolatry, then, is always polytheism, an aimless passing from one lord to another. (par 13)

Let’s put it in plain terms, in light of the darkness of 2018: the abuse of children is a form of idolatry. Homosexual acts are a form of idolatry. Adultery, fornication, pornography, and masturbation, and every other sexual sin are, at the heart, forms of idolatry.

In the ancient Near Middle East (cf Deut 23:17; 1 Kngs 14:24) and in the later Hellenistic/Roman culture (cf 1 Cor 6:19ff, Rev 2:14, 20) the worship of the pagan gods was often intertwined with sexual immorality. The connection between fornication, corruption, and idolatry is summed up this way by the author of the Book of Wisdom: “For the idea of making idols was the beginning of fornication, and the invention of them was the corruption of life” (Wis 14:10).

A fairly short line could be drawn from what one believed was acceptable sexually and what one believed about God or the “gods”. The same is true today. The notion, for instance, that consenting adults should be able to do whatever they wish, as long as “no one is hurt” (so goes the standard qualifier), is usually rooted in a deeply materialist or utilitarian view of man, which in turn flows from amoral assumptions without any notion or consideration of a God who is holy. Man is supposedly free to create his own standards, all of which—surprise!—serve his appetites and desires.

Whereas the Church describes marriage as “an apprenticeship in fidelity” (CCC, 2350), marriage has become for many today an arrangement based on emotional satisfaction and material comfort. Spouses become partners, and partners become tools, and tools are always expendable.

The Apostle Paul, in the opening chapter of his epistle to the Romans, directly links sexual immorality, with an emphasis on homosexual acts, with idolatry, writing that those Gentiles who claimed to be wise became, in fact, fools, “because they exchanged the truth about God for a lie and worshiped and served the creature rather than the Creator” (Rom 1:22ff). Today we are flooded with such “wisdom”, being told that pornography is harmless, fornication and adultery are often necessary and acceptable, homosexual relations are natural and wholesome, and transgenderism is not only healthy but an absolute imperative.

The Sexual Revolution spawned the Reign of Gay, which in turn has quickly metastasized into the Tyranny of Transgenderism. While the ancients bowed before graven images and idols built with human hands, we moderns exult in our alleged autonomy from reality and exalt ideologies built with raw, sentimental hubris.

These unnatural actions and dishonorable doctrines have been accepted—in whole, or in part, or in wilting acquiescence—by many in the Church. More than a few bishops and priests employ the ambiguities of selective sociology and the babble of trendy psychology while refusing to proclaim the clear teachings of the Church, not just about immorality but also about the nature of man and the reality of a just and holy God. Many of these men are simply weak; others are compromised; some are completely complicit.

Both clergy and laity fail in so many ways to identify, expose, confront, and denounce the gods of our age; they refuse to be “destroyers of the gods” that the early Christians were, as described in Larry W. Hurtado’s book on the distinctiveness of those first believers. And as Hurtado demonstrates, those early conflicts over worship and piety were directly related to power and prestige, for the traditional gods of the Roman world “represented the empire itself … and that conferred legitimacy to Roman rule.” And so, echoing the priest quoted at the start, Christopher Altieri has rightly emphasized this relationship as it exists at the heart of the current crisis:

We could move all the predators out of the priesthood and into jail cells, and there would still be a crisis of moral culture in the clergy, high and low, almost as bad as it was the day before the purge. That is because the motor of the clerical culture we have right now – and this is true across the board, top to bottom, without respect to ideological leanings or theological inclination – is the intrinsically perverse libido dominandi (will to power), rather than a perversion of the libido coeundi (sex drive). The former makes use of the latter, and the latter is often a consequence of the former. But the only way men given over to the latter gain any power or place in any society is by addiction to and direction of the former. Therefore the underlying problem is power.

“Faith,” wrote Pope Francis in Lumen Fidei, “tied as it is to conversion, is the opposite of idolatry; it breaks with idols to turn to the living God in a personal encounter.” The heart of fidelity is found in turning away from staring at dead (but deadly) idols and gazing upon the face of the Savior. This gaze is not merely a look or a glance, but the complete gift of self. As Paul exhorted the Christians in Rome:

I appeal to you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that you may prove what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Rom 12:1-2).

This is, without doubt, much easier to say than to do. But it must be said. The call to fidelity, free of jargon and ambiguities, must be uttered again and again. The destructive reality of idolatry—as real today as it was in the times of Moses, Solomon, the Prophets, and Paul—must be exposed. Who will do it?

“The Catholic Church exists for the sole purpose of insisting, in season and out of season, that God be recognized for what He is, and as so recognized, worshipped,” noted Dom Aelred Graham in the 1950s. “The Church is society’s permanent rampart against idolatry. This is the ultimate, in a sense it is the only, sin, the root of all disorder.” This year certainly could be worse than 2018 unless the Church insists without wavering on the truth about God and man, rebuilds the needed ramparts against idolatry, and pursues righteousness with love and fidelity.


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About Carl E. Olson 1116 Articles
Carl E. Olson is editor of Catholic World Report and Ignatius Insight. He is the author of Did Jesus Really Rise from the Dead?, Will Catholics Be "Left Behind"?, co-editor/contributor to Called To Be the Children of God, co-author of The Da Vinci Hoax (Ignatius), and author of the "Catholicism" and "Priest Prophet King" Study Guides for Bishop Robert Barron/Word on Fire. He is also a contributor to "Our Sunday Visitor" newspaper, "The Catholic Answer" magazine, "The Imaginative Conservative", "The Catholic Herald", "National Catholic Register", "Chronicles", and other publications.

32 Comments

  1. So often, when truth is found, it turns out to be surprisingly simple, unadorned, understandable even to children.

    Such was the truth spoken by Jesus. And the truth about this grotesque waking nightmare, the abuse scandal that our leaders are dragging us through, is the same.

    Thank you, Carl, for your simple, accurate and true assessment of the genesis of this historic and revolting collapse.

    We must not turn away. We must refuse to avert our eyes.

    The victims — and the Church itself — deserves nothing less.

    • “So often, when Truth is found, it turns out to be simple, unadorned, understandable even to children”, and yet, profound.

      “A wicked and adulterous generation looks for a sign, but none will be given it except the sign of the prophet, Jonah.”

      What then, are our Good Bishops, those who have kept The Catholic Faith, waiting for?

  2. Idolatry and Lust are virtual synonyms. Narcissus in love with his physical beauty drowned himself. Men in gyms endlessly admire their physiques for some a prelude to homosexuality. Whether power drives homosexuality can’t be deduced. Lust for power is that narcissism of which Cardinal Sheen says “If there is no God then you are a god”. Gods make their own rules. Careerism especially for a priest ends in death by love of self. A priestly soul called to greatness in Christ choosing instead to Drown in his own elimination. Recognition of our nothingness God source of all Good all Beauty is exclusive to Worship and personal glory. Evidence is exacting loyalty to Christ.

    • Father when you mention narcissism and lust for power I think of the most important man in the world who fits that bill… Donald Trump. Mr. Trump is not a good role model for our children as he continues his incessant lying and misdirection. He says that he feels the pain of the 800,000 federal workers left financially hanging by his unending government shutdown. The church says nothing!

      I have problems with Idolatry and lust. Idolatry in the dictionary explains the term as “the worship of a physical object as a god”. Lust is defined as “PLEASURE, DELIGHT”. St. John Paul once spoke of lust being so sinful that “a spouse could not lust after their partner.

      Idolatry is the worship of idols in place of God, the first commandment. With all the images of saints and other statues and other images displayed by the church how do those being prayed to instead of God escape the idolatry stamp?

      • Anyone who confuses prayers to the saints with worship and adoration of God should be spending time studying the Catechism and related texts rather than making the same comments, almost daily, about the evils of Trump.

        So, for example:

        “The Christian veneration of images is not contrary to the first commandment which proscribes idols. Indeed, ‘the honor rendered to an image passes to its prototype,’ and ‘whoever venerates an image venerates the person portrayed in it.” The honor paid to sacred images is a ‘respectful veneration,’ not the adoration due to God alone: ‘Religious worship is not directed to images in themselves, considered as mere things, but under their distinctive aspect as images leading us on to God incarnate. The movement toward the image does not terminate in it as image, but tends toward that whose image it is.'” (CCC 2132, quoting St. Thomas Aquinas).

        • I can’t believe that the average Catholic understands why they pray to a venerated person’s image rather than God. When we decide to pray only to God are we sinning? When a priest in a confessional tell you for penance say 5 Our Fathers and 5 Hail Mary’s. I love the Blessed Mother, but why is Mary included?

          • Maybe you should come visit my parish, where we say many prayers to the Theotokos and the Saints, and yet never confuse those prayers with the adoration and worship of God, which is always central and exclusive to the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. I’ve yet to meet a Catholic who is really confused about this, even though I know plenty of Catholic who might struggle, in ways, to explain it. But part of the explanation is quite simple: prayer means to “entreat” or “ask earnestly”; it does not means “worship”—even while prayer is part of worship. And since the Saints are in perfect communion with God, why not ask for their help and aid? After all, if we cannot have such conversations with our brothers and sisters in Christ, then the communion of saints is nonsensical, which goes contrary to Scripture, Tradition, and commonsense.

      • Fact is Morgan we’re physical beings with intellect who nonetheless know thru the senses. Visual art is among our finest achievements that enhance humanness. Like the wizened editor says we don’t stop at the beautiful image though when artfully done we’re inspired to move on to what it signifies [Doesn’t beautiful music say Gregorian chant invoke in us a sense of the intangible good of the divinity?]. Don’t forget all the sacraments use visible, tangible physical matter as conduits to both understanding the spiritual import and of conveying to us actual grace, actual acts of justice such as forgiveness of sins. Iconoclasm died because of this lack of understanding. Insofar as Lust Aquinas [as well as I and most other traditional theologians] understand Lust as a dissection between sensual pleasure and love of the one to be loved. A husband Lusts for his wife when he uses her as a sex slave impervious to her need for affection and respect of her person. The material is with us by our nature and its use depends on its intent. God became flesh and blood precisely to meet that human need to know who the Father really is.

        • “Don’t forget all the sacraments use visible, tangible physical matter as conduits to both understanding the spiritual import and of conveying to us actual grace, actual acts of justice such as forgiveness of sins.”

          This is so crucial…

  3. The effort to put current miseries into a larger context, in this case, an eternal one, is always to be encouraged.

  4. The many faces of idolatry—even more than what Olson so passionately reports. Only one idol among many is the current sexual abuse/network crisis, as Olson exposes it, in the hands of an infiltrating sodomite culture (The front office correctly denounces in words the sins and the crimes, but then fails to take much action). And then…

    Collapse in China (accommodating a totalitarian regime which a well-careered cardinal in Rome has praised as a model of the Catholic Social Teaching!),

    Collapse in central Europe (where a German cardinal caves to irreversible [?] secularism and now remarks [re-Marx!] that priestly celibacy is an open question—just in time to colonize and finesse the Amazon synod),

    Compromise in Latin America (where Pentecostal sects are draining Church membership…in its broad commentary, the papal Letter to the American Bishops in Baltimore correctly stresses the need for a more “evangelical” Church, but then speaks only of “pastors,” conspicuously not mentioning bishops—the distinctly Apostolic Succession),

    In general, what is to hold together the universal college (not collage) of bishops? Why not just settle for one flexible idol: the chameleon? The symbol not of a “polyhedral” Church, but of a post-Church that is fully polyvalent?

    What to do then to protect and foster the transcendent human person, in a collage of diverse (diversity!) post-modern and post-Christian settings? An impossible task–pray with Pope Francis. And think, but not much help from Catholic academia ever since the adolescent Land o’ Lakes walkout.

    I was once in a paused “strip-ship” situation on a very large navy vessel. Everything non-essential poised to be tossed overboard to save the ship. But even then, no one imagined punching holes in the hull to let any flood water drain back out.

    And likewise today with the barque of Peter–it makes no sense to drill holes in anything dated prior to 2013. As Edmund Burke said of Revolutionary France: “those who destroy everything likely remove some abuse.”

  5. “A fairly short line could be drawn from what one believed was acceptable sexually and what one believed about God or the “gods”. The same is true today.” Wow. My mother reading to me the story of the Israelites and the Golden Calf comes suddenly rushing back to me. Terrifically sobering column. Thank you.

  6. We see the lust for power and sexual gratification conjoined in Ex-Cardinal McCarrick.

    Perhaps some readers my not realize that McCarrick (and his friends) have dedicated their entire lives to “remake the Catholic Church” in their own image: Witness that in 1967 as president of the U. of Puerto Rico McCarrick engineered and co-signed the notorious “Land of Lakes Statement,” where he and his colleagues from Notre Dame, and “Jesuit” universities like Fordham and Boston College declared themselves independent (i.e. unobedient) to Church teaching.

    Like Macbeth: kill a king to become a king.

    Yes: McCarrick and Danneels and Mahony and Cupich and Bernadin and Spellman and Kasper and Marx and Maradiaga and Kieran Conroy and Wuerl and Rosica and Spadaro etc etc etc are idolaters – they have engineered a Church empiried of all Catholic memory and identity – a Church engineered to do homage to themselves, and provide them with power, political influence and prestige (like McCarrick has on Obama’s campaign), and “consensual” and “coercive” gratification.

    Utterly alienated from The Lord Jesus

  7. To continue with the theme of idolatry:

    From https://rorate-caeli.blogspot.com/2019/01/de-mattei-dare-monsignore.html#more

    Bishop Athanasius Schneider, auxiliary of Astana, Kazakhstan, said in a message dated 28 July 2018, that “We are witnessing an incredible scenario, in which some priests and even bishops and cardinals, without blushing, are already offering grains of incense to the idol of homosexuality or gender ideology, to the applause of the powerful ones of this world, that is, to the applause of politicians, social media giants and powerful international organizations”.

  8. The crisis in our Church is because of idolatry. It’s the worship of the “spirit of the age”, of worldliness, of secular power and influence. Many of those in power (McCarrick before his fall, Cupich, Wuerl, Tobin, Farrell, Maradiaga, Ouellet, Spadaro, Rosica, Martin etc) worship this worldliness, and have lost their supernatural faith in God. Which is why they have elevated Pope Francis as a sort of substitute God and revolutionary Messiah to carry out their program, reinterpreting his role from Vicar of Christ to Successor of Christ (a term which has been used by some high ranking prelates close to the Pope), whose power and authority is not dependent on Sacred Scripture and Tradition, but on pure will (as Rosica implied in his notorious tweet on 28 July 2018).

    • Johann you say what some of us sense with fear, “They have elevated Pope Francis as a sort of substitute God and revolutionary Messiah”. If Fidelity to Jesus Christ is abandoned for someone other is this not Idolatry? May Our Lord have mercy for my thought though on their part it seems true.

  9. I commend Carl E. Olson for this discerning and superb piece. It is deeply rooted in the genuine catechumenal synthesis of the early Church. We need to absorb it profusely and infuse it into all our faith formation efforts and preaching.

    It is time to end watered-down, truncated RCIA programs in favor of a rigorous baptismal catechumenate that follows the substance and spirit of the statute and takes as long as it takes. No more one-size-fits-all that starts in September and ends at Easter and often produces a frightening attrition rate.

  10. Just a note about Mr. Altieri’s statement that the “the underlying problem is power”. We are speaking here of gay men secretly molesting children, not Vikings stabbing and pillaging. It is true that these gay men spread their web of influence through a will to power, but we (our ancestors and us) let them do this (while secrecy and stealth certainly are also underlying factors). We still allow them everyday because we are afraid of being called bad names like “bigot” just for speaking out rationally. Admittedly, both in the Church and in the State the LGBT leviathan has consolidated its power so they can really hurt you. But once again they are not the marauding horde. I think it would have been better it they had been; then more people would have risen up to fight against it. It was sexual apathy and sympathy (and a clinging to our own idolatry) that allowed this power grab, and now its the idolatry of our jobs and homes and material well-being that prevents even the wisest and most able of us from doing anything about it.

  11. Why cite Jorge Bergoglio in this otherwise edifying reflection as though he is on the side of the angels where the abuse crisis is concerned? Yes; this particular quotation does support the article’s thesis. Considered against the backdrop of Bergoglio’s other relevant actions and assertions (or lack thereof), however, one can only conclude–if intellectual honesty is not to be offended–that the snippet from Lumen fidei has been wrenched sorely out of context.

    • Indeed Helen, indeed so. The identical question occurred to me, especially as I do not trust anything Papa Bergoglio says. In fact, quite honestly, I would not even ask him the time.

  12. In the original language of the Old Testament the word that is translated as lower case g gods in the Commandment against idolatry can also be translated as the words judges or powers. The word is elohim. The gods of pagan idolatry often represent the powers, or forces, of nature. The word can also apply to earthly repositories of human power as well. In the Old Testament we list the ban on idolatry as being part of the First Commandment, in Judaism it is the Second Commandment.
    *
    The First and Sixth Commandments are very closely related. Idolatry is spiritual adultery (infidelity) against God. That is why the prophets called unfaithful Israel a harlot. To me the woman taken in adultery is a type of Israel the harlot. Modern faithless Catholics appear to be doing everything in their power to turn the Church into the Whore of Babylon.
    *
    Much is made in the modern Church about inclusiveness. There is a limit to how much inclusiveness you can have without breaking the Commandment against idolatry. King Solomon was very inclusive when he gave into his wives in allowing the practice of pagan idolatry. Wisdom turned into folly.

  13. The will to power discussed in Mr Olson’s excellent essay isn’t new in clericalism. Today it aligns itself with zeitgeist, the sexual revolution.
    In the past it aligned itself with authoritarian, in Ireland for example.
    Deference to clergy was in the spirit of the age and was observed by all from powerful politician to stipend paying pew sitter. It was exploited by many churchmen for all that it was worth. They were the princes.
    Ultimately Sycophancy generally in society diminished with the sexual revolution.
    And the opportunist bishops changed horses accordingly to follow the new spirit

  14. The idolatry that is destroying Christianity itself is our rendering unto Caesar authority over innocent human life that belongs only to God, Who brings human life forth and calls it back to Himself when He is good and ready to do so, and Who commanded mere mortals, “Thou shalt do no murder.”

    The God of the Old Testament is still God. When God’s people would fall into idolatry, He would hand them over to enslavement or oppression by the nation whose false god they had worshipped. Surely we will be handed over to enslavement and oppression by the contemporary, homicidal, militantly atheistic states which have “legalized” euthanasia and taking the life of the child in the womb.

    As JP II put it, “… if there is no ultimate truth to guide and direct political activity, then ideas and convictions can easily be manipulated for reasons of power. As history demonstrates, a democracy without values easily turns into open or thinly disguised totalitarianism.” We are well on our way there. And instead of applying the brakes we are accelerating.

    This acceleration will continue prelates and priests find the courage to boldly proclaim that the state simply has no authority whatsoever to “legalize” the murder of innocent humanity, and exhort the flock to respond to the murder taking place in our midst in a manner commensurate with its urgency.

    What would we do if thousands of first-graders were “legally” murdered every day? That we don’t respond in that way to the murder of thousands of babies every day signifies how deeply we have been affected by MSM-manufactured bigotry, the purpose of which is to dehumanize the child in the womb in the public mind.

    Idolatry. Bigotry. God’s judgment. Repentance. That is the continually repeating sequence. God’s judgment upon us will not end until we repent of our idolatry and bigotry. Future generations of Christians will see us like we now see those who tolerated Jew-gassing and American slavery.

    • “This acceleration will continue prelates and priests find the courage …”

      should have been

      “This acceleration will continue until prelates and priests find the courage …”

  15. Does Amoris Laetitia play with the truth? See 301-303 which clearly creates the permission, in the broadest terms, to circumvent Catholic moral teaching.

  16. Glad to see this article still here , since the related topics are amidst us
    always , in various ways . Came across this one , warning about the risks of Eastern meditations , the ardent efforts it took to be free of its effects – http://www.courageouspriest.com/warning-eastern-meditation-should-never-be-used

    Interesting too that the chant word ‘Om ‘ that is used is said to have various properties , as the first sound in creation etc – could be a faslehood from the enemy in the related faith .
    Gregorian chant is said to avoid certain notes that came into the universe only after The Fall .
    We also trust in the power of The Word , to bring forth life , how Adam and Eve were to be blessed with same too and would have brought forth children ,in mystical , sacred manner – which is how Bl.Mother is said to have been conceived
    ( Bl.Emmerich )
    Without death being around , would it be that God had planned for Adam and Eve , in their authority over animals, to also share in the power over animal natures , over their blind instincts , to be more in harmony with the holiness around – with no death , too many would not have been needed either .

    https://www.hprweb.com/2019/04/the-new-acceptance-of-sodomy/
    Idolatry of sexuality and its misuses from the influence of enemy spirits , its intrusions into cultures can all be seen as related areas – Britain with ties to the pagan cultures of the East , also in the debt of having targeted The Church
    there , as a competitor , after the idolatrous divisions against The Church in the homeland and so on ..
    Bestial natures seem to fit well with what we often see as narcissism in our times too , what our Lord too often called as being blind, deaf , hardened of heart etc . The temple sacrifices were likely ordered to counter same . In Book of Zephania , we read The Lord warning how He would pour out the blood , like ‘ dust ‘- from all the bestial natures and its effects in the nation .
    Thank God , we live in times when The Precious Blood can bring forth the deliverance needed , grace to repent , to be able to accept the mercy , so that faced with evil /weakness in us or others , same does not become the idol , to be used again and again by the enemy , to reproduce its children of bitterness , fear , anger and so on , instead to thank The Lord , for what He has done , is doing , consecrating all to His mercy , avoiding occasions of falling after idols who would deprive one of the grace to trust in The Father and His Spirit .

    The devotion to the Miraculous medal might also give more protection , with the grace to accept His mercy and thank Him on behalf of others , thus fulfilling what our Lord said –
    ‘mankind would not have peace, till it turns to My mercy .’ so that the great and unique aspects /graces of our faith , not that hard to loose in our times would be protected and fruitful in all our lives .
    St.Maroun and St.Charbel , pray for us all , to live holy lives , in trusting gratitude to The Father .

  17. The joy and gratitude with which our Lord took on His human nature – a truth that seems to escape us even when we are invited by The Church to take it in so many ways , again and again , including in the Hail Mary prayers , that invoke the strength in our wills, to trust and walk in same , also through the ministry of Angel Gabriel .
    Seems we can fall into the error that our Lord felt very deprived , in taking on the Incarnation , which is a subtle lie from the enemy that deny the preciousness of human nature , a nature that The Father crafted carefully , fully knowing that one day His own Son would take on same .
    Denial of that truth leads to also fear and contempt towards life , life bearers , in the desires to fall for relationships that cater to lusts and its deep hatreds .
    Thank God for the gem of that truth , through this great little book –
    https://www.ignatius.com/Eternity-in-the-Midst-of-Time-P3159.aspx

    Our Lord visiting the household of Martha , in that joy of His human nature , to be our own joy and strength as well , to also protect us and our households, from unholy desires to visit or be visited by agents and persons with evil
    intents .
    Devoid of the truth of that joy and gratitude of our Lord to The Father, for His human nature , to be given us through The Spirit , for all moments of our lives , including the past , that might carry the deep wounds, through the working and presence of the death / dragon spirits , one seeks out for that joy , in all the wrong places and ways .
    Nations doing same and we have communism and Nazism and other isms , related confusions and impurities as well , the word Russia standing for such a mind set , that tries to share , what they have to share , which is misery and greed and evil , the bad leaven as in hell .
    Its effects to be undone in the Immaculate Heart , through the one who wants to undo the often demeaning , coercive, prideful mandates and modes set for sharing , such as in communism, to be replaced by the foundation of truth of the dignity of our human nature in the merits and joy of her Heart .
    True , being set free from the idols of ego and its deceits may be an arduous task, needing much patience , to be garnered in sharing with The Lord, His own joy of the Incarnation and all that follows , in gratitude for the gift of our own lives as well.

    May the hearts of us all and those in our lives be blessed and sealed in The Precious Blood , to walk the narrow path of that joy and gratitude , devoid of ways of deceit and lies .
    Immaculate Heart of Mary , pray for us all .

  18. Beautiful readings esp. from the O.T today , about Gideon and ? the Angel of Peace appearing , Gideon , may be in his ignorance , having no fear of the angel , the meat and cakes offered being burned up at the touch of the staff of the angel ..
    and here we are in the midst of the 40 day devotion to St.Michael –
    https://www.stmichaelvanburen.com/40-day-devotion-to-st-michael.html

    Having read how the holy angels help to strengthen our will that might have been weakened by sin , ( Angel Gabriel being the ‘strength of God ‘ whose words is what we utter with gratitude , in the Hail Mary prayers ) a renewed devotion may enable The Church to counter the flood of carnality and its excesses .
    The trust that what is offered up to God , for His glory , can help to serve our deeper union with all in Him too , at a greater level in The Spirit , being blessed to thank and praise Him , for example , at Adoration , in union with one’s children and family and all too could help to override the falsehood around the need for excess in carnality .
    Carnal relations , having may be a deep element of pleasure focused on the self
    alone , more at an animal level , esp. if one has chosen to see same with fear about the potential for gift of life ,not hard to see how same can manifest as a divisive agent in marriages and all relationships .
    N.F.P seen as a good occasion to also offer reparation in this realm could help same to be more accepted ,instead of seeing using it just as a means of avoiding pregnancy .
    Older couples too could accept the same reparation , added to other means of fasting , to help empower The Spirit and the ministry of the holy angels, to burn up the carnal excesses , to allow Yahweh Shalom, to bring us all the deeper peace , in oneness of hearts that praise and adore Him all through the world .
    O Mary , Queen of Peace ,Queen of Angels , pray for us all .

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