Amoris Laetitia


In October 2015, the Remnant Newspaper drew attention to an apparently very rare conjunction of heavenly bodies due to take place during the 100th anniversary of the miracle of the sun.  The author, Patrick Archbold, quoted first the opening verse of Apoc. 12: “And a great sign appeared in heaven: A woman clothed with the sun, and the moon under her feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars: And being with child, she cried travailing in birth, and was in pain to be delivered.” He continued:

The author of Revelation clearly indicates that this vision is one of a sign in heaven or in the sky. What do we see in the sky of the near future?

On November 20, 2016, an astronomical event begins that will last nine and a half months, culminating in startling concurrence with the vision of Revelation 12. While I am not an astronomer, all my research indicates that this astronomical event, in all its particulars, is unique in the history of man.

On November 20, 2016, Jupiter (the King planet) enters into the body (womb) of the constellation Virgo (the virgin).   Jupiter, due its retrograde motion, will spend the next 9 ½ months within the womb of Virgo. This length of time corresponds with gestation period of a normal late-term baby.

After 9 ½ months, Jupiter exits out of the womb of Virgo. Upon Jupiter’s exit (birth), on September 23, 2017, we see the constellation Virgo with the sun rise directly behind it (the woman clothed with the sun). At the feet of Virgo, we find the moon. And upon her head we find a crown of twelve stars, formed by the usual nine stars of the constellation Leo with the addition of the planets Mercury, Venus, and Mars.

That is a truly remarkable and, as far as I can determine, unique series of event with a startling degree of concurrence with the vision of Revelation 12.

As a result, there was a certain amount of speculation about whether something significant for the Church or the word would happen on September 23rd 2017. Other people drew attention to the importance of 100 years in connexion with Fatima, and wondered whether something dramatic would happen on, say October 13th, 2017. I have discussed this last point here.

However, to my knowledge, no one has pointed out that something rather important did take place on 23rd September. The ‘Filial Correction’ which accused Pope Francis of upholding and propagating seven heresies was first seen by most people, at least on the eastern side of the Atlantic, on 24th September. However, the Associated Press, who seem to have been the first to publish it, date their article to the 23rd.

(Someone might wonder whether the organisers of the Filial Correction released their document deliberately to coincide with the ‘sign in the heavens’. I have been able to speak  to some of them, and I do not believe that this is the case.)

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Paul rebuked Peter because of the danger of salvation for the faithful, and did not allow the latter’s sin to pass, since it was scandalous, though small. He thereby taught others that they should act magnanimously by rebuking the crimes of their prelates when these scandalise the Church and by their bad example lead others toward damnation. The princes of the Church and the princes of the world are obliged to do the same, when the pope scandalizes the Church, once he has been admonished in private and not come to his senses. For it is likely that he will be cowed [verebitur] when princes rebuke him publicly, even if he doesn’t care about the salvation of his subjects. And so even if he himself does not become good, at least he will not continue to scandalise others.

Indeed, those who can help have a much greater duty to do this than to save someone who is being led to bodily death. For they must set themselves ‘up as a wall for the house of Israel’. ‘Seeing their brothers in need and shutting up, in effect, the bowels of their mercy from them, how do they have the charity of God?’ [Commentary on the Summa Theologiae, 2a 2ae 33, 4].

A remarkable book was published just over a year ago, called In Sinu Iesu. The title is a quotation from Jn. 13:23: Now there was reclining on Jesus’s breast one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved. The book consists of an internal colloquy taking place over several years between the author, named simply as ‘a Benedictine monk’ and ‘a priest’, and our Lord. In that respect it resembles somewhat The Imitation of Christ.  It has already been translated into Czech, and I have met someone who is translating it into German.

The dominant theme of the book is Christ’s desire for His people, and especially His priests, to seek out His friendship by spending time before the Blessed Sacrament. Other themes include the lamentable state of much of the Church, the lukewarmness and scanty faith of priests, the role of our Lady in the spiritual life, the future renewal of the priesthood and the Church, and the four last things. The words in which Christ is represented as speaking, by their union of loving simplicity and gravity of tone, of antiquity of content and freshness of appeal, have, to my mind, all the marks of authentic private revelation.

The last date ascribed to the words of our Lord is April 14th, 2016. Amoris laetitia was published on April 8th. Neither here nor anywhere else does the book mention Amoris laetitia, nor, as far as I remember, the present papacy or the synods on the family. But this last entry of the book contains these words:

Consecrate yourself to My Mother, and lift your eyes to her all-pure countenance. She is the star whom I have set in the darkness of the firmament, lest those who belong to Me lose hope and perish in the tempest that threatens the very survival of all that I have done and of the works of My saints. Those who flee to My Immaculate Mother and cling to her mantle of protection will emerge from the sorrows of this time, and, after the raging tempest, will rejoice in a  peace that the world cannot give.

Amen, amen I say to you, that you shall lament and weep, but the worlds shall rejoice; and you shall be made sorrowful, but your sorrow shall be turned into joy.

 

 

Contrary to the vigour of the Gospel, contrary to the law of the Lord and God, by the temerity of some, communion is relaxed to heedless persons  – a vain and false peace, dangerous to those who grant it, and likely to avail nothing to those who receive it. They do not seek for the patience necessary to health nor the true medicine derived from atonement. Penitence is driven forth from their breasts, and the memory of their very grave and extreme sin is taken away. The wounds of the dying are covered over, and the deadly blow that is planted in the deep and secret entrails is concealed by a dissimulated suffering. Returning from the altars of the devil, they draw near to the holy place of the Lord, with hands filthy and reeking with smell, still almost breathing of the plague-bearing idol-meats; and even with jaws still exhaling their crime, and reeking with the fatal contact, they intrude on the body of the Lord, although the sacredScripture stands in their way, and cries, saying, Every one that is clean shall eat of the flesh; and whatever soul eats of the flesh of the saving sacrifice, which is the Lord’s, having his uncleanness upon him, that soul shall be cut off from his people. Also, the apostle testifies, and says, You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of devils; you cannot be partakers of the Lord’s table and of the table of devils. He threatens, moreover, the stubborn and froward, and denounces them, saying, Whosoever eats the bread or drinks the cup of the Lord unworthily, is guilty of the body and blood of the Lord.

All these warnings being scorned and contemned – before their sin is expiated, before confession has been made of their crime, before their conscience has been purged by sacrifice and by the hand of the priest before the offense of an angry and threatening Lord has been appeased, violence is done to His body and blood; and they sin now against their Lord more with their hand and mouth than when they denied their Lord. They think that that is peace which some with deceiving words are blazoning forth: that is not peace, but war and he is not joined to the Church who is separated from the Gospel. Why do they call an injury a kindness? Why do they call impiety by the name of piety? Why do they hinder those who ought to weep continually and to entreat their Lord, from the sorrowing of repentance, and pretend to receive them to communion?

This is quite exciting. A mid-4th commentary on the gospels, mentioned by St Jerome, and others has been re-discovered and published. It is by Fortunatianus, bishop of Aquileia, and is the oldest known Latin commentary on the gospels. St Jerome seems a bit ambiguous about him. In his book On Illustrious Men, he says that Fortunatianus pressurized Pope Liberius in exile to sign the Arianizing creed. But elsewhere he refers to the commentary as a pearl, and also says that he made use of it in writing his own. Anyway, you can read it on-line in English here. The translator’s introduction, and the explanation of how it came to be rediscovered, are available here.

I had a look to see what he might have to say about the great matter of the day. This is what I found:

[Matthew 24:45–51] Who is the faithful and sensible slave whom the master has set over his household? This is understood as a bishop or presbyter giving nourishment to the multitude, for they pass on the commandments. Nourishment at the right time: at what time but this one, which is from the Passion of the Saviour? Nourishment is not only teaching, but is also the sharing of the sacrament. Therefore the one who has faithfully overseen this distribution will receive a reward and be set above all good things in the heavenly kingdom.

But he will eat or drink with the drunkards: what is this but to commune with unworthy people? Drunkards are those who are full of unrighteousness. But in the Church, what is eating other than communion? His lord will come on a day which he does not know: plainly on the day of judgment, or on the day on which he makes him retreat from the world. He will divide him, meaning that he separates the soul from the body. But dividing means to take the soul away from the body, as Daniel said in the story of the two presbyters. He places his share with the hypocrites, meaning that on the day of judgment he will be sent into Gehenna with his companions, where there is continual flame and everlasting punishment. In this torment, it says that there is the gnashing of teeth and weeping of eyes.

Reading a sermon of Ronald Knox’s the other day, I was struck by one phrase. He speaks of ‘the joy of conflict, without which there is little savour to living, except for the few who live very close to God’. Tomorrow is the great day of her whom the liturgy compares to a castrorum acies ordinata, an army set in array. In these strange and critical days for the Church, perhaps we should ask Mary for a holy joy of battle.

Image result for unjust steward picture

 

The parable of the Unjust Steward is a googly which the Church bowls each eighth Sunday after Pentecost at unwary preachers. Many of them are stumped. Naturally one can find some worthy treatments of it in the Catena Aurea and in the Commentary of Cornelius a Lapide; but the profoundest interpretation I know appears in neither place, coming rather from St Gaudentius of Brescia. As it may be that you don’t know who St Gaudentius was, I will tell you: he was a friend of St Ambrose and a defender of St John Chrysostom and he ruled the see of Brescia in Italy for some 25 years.

A friend of his, called Herminius, or Serminius, or possibly Germinius (it must have been a cold day in the scriptorium when the monk copied out the letter) wrote to St Gaudentius to ask what, exactly, this passage from the holy Gospel means. And the saint, after talking at length as one might expect of the dangers of wealth and the virtues of alms-giving, begins to give a mystical interpretation. The rich man, he says, is almighty God – dives in misericordia. The  unjust steward is the devil, who has been allowed by God to have a certain power in the cosmos, as a steward on an estate. The devil is allowed to test the saints, says St Thomas Aquinas, so that he may not be entirely useless.

But the devil, of course, abuses his power. St Gaudentius says that “the devil wasted the substance of his Lord when he sought the ruin of mankind”. He persecuted the human race beyond all measure, bringing upon it all the cruelties and terrors of paganism. And so God resolved to cast the devil out of His Estate and into the abyss, and made this known when He came among us. Whereupon “this most wicked one, reckoning the death of man as his profit, is consumed with anxiety because the Lord is about to take away the power that he has over others.”

He is not strong enough to dig, and is ashamed to beg, and so turns from violence to craft:

Since he will not work what is good, and is ashamed to ask for mercy as a penitent, he thinks within himself how he may still have power over the debtors of his Lord (that is, over those involved in the debt of sin), not alone by open persecution, but also, under the guise of benevolence, by deceiving them with smooth words, so that seduced by his false kindness they may more readily receive him into their houses, to be judged with him forever.

The devil begins to write off men’s debts:

He falsely promises that he can relax the debts of his fellow servants, which are in his Lord’s power, by vainly assuring indulgence to those who sin either in faith or in deed. For he convinces them that their crimes will not be imputed to them, although even those who commit them know them to be grave offences: for they acknowledge the amount of their debt.

He does this both with the wheat and with the oil:

The wheat is faith in Christ, the principle of man’s life. For He is the living bread who came down from heaven. The oil is good works, which the foolish virgins lacked, and hence when the lamp-light of their souls went out, they abode in darkness. . . . Even so does the devil trick the race of men with false promises, that they may not know what debt of faith and works they owe.

And if the oil is brought down from a hundred, the number of perfection, to fifty, and the wheat is brought down only from a hundred to eighty, perhaps this is because “a smaller number are withdrawn by the devil’s cunning from the true faith, than are withdrawn from right deeds, as our Saviour Himself declares, saying: ‘Why do you call me, Lord, Lord; and do not the things which I say?'”

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