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Against Reducing to Antiquity

The Blessed Virgin Will Succor Us in Our Trials

Blessing of Heaven May Not Be Expected if Homage is Unworthy

Christ is Victorious

Christ's Promise to the Church Should Be Understood as Referring to the Church as a Whole, and Not to Certain Portions of It

The Church Cannot Be Overthrown

The Church is Both Divine & Human

The Enemy Seeks to Destroy the Church and Corrupt the People

Failure to Oppose Error is to Approve of It

False Opinions Influence & Pervert Actions

First Duty of the Flock When Shepherd Becomes a Wolf

Laments

One Should Not Place One's Happiness in the Desire for Possessions

Our Age is Hostile to Justice & Truth

Persecution of the Church Ultimately Leads to Benefits

Return to Primal Constitution Constitutes Recovery

Unjust Laws Are a Species of Violence

The Victory Will Be With God

War Has Been Declared Against Everything Supernatural

Misc.

Catholic News Reflections

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Quotation

Against Reducing to Antiquity

"But it is neither wise nor laudable to reduce everything to antiquity by every possible device. Thus, to cite some instances, one would be straying from the straight path were he to wish the altar restored to its primitive table form; were he to want black excluded as a color for the liturgical vestments; were he to forbid the use of sacred images and statues in churches; were he to order the crucifix so designed that the divine Redeemer's body shows no trace of His cruel sufferings; and lastly were he to disdain and reject polyphonic music or singing in parts, even where it conforms to regulations issued by the Holy See." (Pope Pius XII, "Mediator Dei", 1947 A.D.) [Note: 'Reducing to antiquity' does NOT refer to the Traditionalists attempts to restore the traditional Latin ('Tridentine') Mass and pre-Vatican II practices, but to the modernists quest to 'restore' the Church to a 'primitive form' that better corresponds with Protestant sensibilities. In fact, the 'reduction to antiquity' of the Modernists and the restoration sought by the Traditionalists are diametrically opposed. The 'reducing to antiquity' of the Modernists has been condemned by the popes - whereas true faithfulness to tradition has always been guarded in the Church, and is even praised in Holy Scripture. For more information, try the Latin Mass / Catholic Tradition Section.)

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The Blessed Virgin Will Succor Us in Our Trials

Also See: Blessed Virgin Mary (Topic Page)

"Oh how bitterly and fiercely is Jesus Christ now being persecuted, and the most holy religion which he founded! And how grave is the peril that threatens many of being drawn away by the errors that are afoot on all sides, to the abandonment of the faith! 'Then let him who thinks he stands take heed lest he fall' (I Cor. x., 12). And let all, with humble prayer and entreaty, implore of God, through the intercession of Mary, that those who have abandoned the truth may repent. We know, indeed, from experience that such prayer, born of charity and relying on the Virgin, has never been vain. True, even in the future the strife against the Church will never cease, 'for there must be also heresies, that they also who are reproved may be made manifest among you' (I Cor. xi., 19). But neither will the Virgin ever cease to succor us in our trials, however grave they be, and to carry on the fight fought by her since her conception, so that every day we may repeat: 'Today the head of [Satan] was crushed by her' (Office Immac. Con., 11. Vespers, Magnif.)." (Pope St. Pius X, "Ad Diem Illum Laetissimum", 1904 A.D.)

Also See: Mary, Our Mother Section

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Blessing of Heaven May Not Be Expected if Homage is Unworthy

"And it is vain to hope that the blessing of heaven will descend abundantly upon us, when our homage to the Most High, instead of ascending in the odor of sweetness, puts into the hand of the Lord the scourges wherewith of old the Divine Redeemer drove the unworthy profaners from the Temple." (Pope St. Pius X, "Inter Sollicitudines", 1905 A.D.)

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Christ is Victorious

"The faithful should also reflect who is their leader against temptations of the enemy; namely, Christ the Lord, who was victorious in the same combat. He overcame the devil; He is that stronger man who, coming upon the strong armed man, overcame him, deprived him of his arms, and stripped him of his spoils. Of Christ's victory over the world, we read in St. John: Have confidence: I have overcome the world; and in the Apocalypse, He is called the conquering lion; and it is said of Him that He went forth conquering that He might conquer, because by His victory He has given power to others to conquer." (Catechism of the Council of Trent)

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Christ's Promise to the Church Should Be Understood as Referring to the Church as a Whole, and Not to Certain Portions of It

"Christ the Lord wished that by the strength and solidity of the foundation the gates of hell should be prevented from prevailing against the Church. All are agreed that the divine promise must be understood of the Church as a whole, and not of any certain portions of it. These can indeed be overcome by the assaults of the powers of hell, as in point of fact has befallen some of them." (Pope Leo XIII, "Satis Cognitum", 1896 A.D.)

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The Church Cannot Be Overthrown

"And I say to thee: That thou art Peter; and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it." (Our Lord Jesus Christ to St. Peter, the first Pope, Mt. 16:18)

"Never will there be grief enough over the corruption of morals so extensively increasing and promoted by irreligious and obscene writings, theatrical spectacles and meretricious houses established almost everywhere; by other depraved arts and monstrous portents of every error disseminated in all directions; by the abominable impurities of all vices and crimes growing constantly and the deadly virus of unbelief and indifferentism spread far and wide; by contempt for ecclesiastical authority, sacred things, and laws and by the outrageous plundering of Church possessions; by the bitter and constant abuse of consecrated Church officials, of the students of religious communities, of virgins dedicated to God; by the diabolical hatred of Christ, his Church, teaching, and of this Apostolic See. These and almost innumerable other evils perpetrated by the embittered enemies of the Catholic Church and faith, we are daily compelled to lament. All these agonies seem to prolong and delay that most yearned for time when we shall see the full triumph of our most holy religion, of justice, and of truth. This triumph cannot fail us, however, even if it is not given us to know the time destined for it by almighty God. Even though our heavenly Father permits his holy Church to be afflicted and plagued by various tribulations and distresses while serving during this most miserable and earthly pilgrimage, nevertheless, because it has been founded by Christ, the Lord, upon an immovable and most firm rock, it cannot be shaken or overthrown by any force or violence. Rather, 'it is strengthened, not weakened by persecutions. The Lord's vineyard is always clothed with a richer harvest, for while each grain dies singly, it is born again many-fold.' That is what we see happening, beloved sons and venerable brothers, even in these most sorrowful times as a special blessing from God. For although the immaculate Spouse of Christ may be vehemently troubled at the present time by the work of the wicked, yet she is triumphing over her enemies. Yes, indeed, she is conquering her enemies and shines wonderfully bright with your unparalleled faithfulness, love, and respect towards us and this Chair of Peter, and with your outstanding constancy and that of the other venerable brothers, the bishops of the whole Catholic world. She shines with many pious works of Christian charity multiplying rapidly each day; with the light of blessed faith illuminating many regions evermore each day; with the exceptional love and devotion shown by Catholics towards the Church itself, towards us, and this Holy See; with the eminent and immortal glory of martyrdom." (Pope Pius IX, "Quanto Conficiamur Moerore", 1863 A.D.)

Also See: The Unshakeable Church (Love of Catholic Faith Reflections) | The Papacy is Indestructible / Perpetual (Vatican View Reflections) | Vatican View Section 

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The Church is Both Divine & Human

"[Like our Lord, the Catholic Church is both divine and human:] Treat the Catholic Church as Divine only and you will stumble only the scandals, her failures, and her shortcomings. Treat her as Human only and you will be silenced by her miracles, her sanctity, and her eternal resurrections." (Benson)

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The Enemy Seeks to Destroy the Church and Corrupt the People

"You are certainly aware, our beloved sons and venerable brothers, that every kind of impious and deceitful writing, lies, calumny, and blasphemy has been let loose from hell. No pain has been spared to transfer schools to non-Catholic teachers and to appropriate churches for non-Catholic worship. With a multiple of other, surely diabolical treacheries, arts, and undertakings, the enemies of God employ every effort to destroy completely - if that were possible - the Catholic Church, seduce and corrupt the people, especially guileless youth, and uproot our holy faith and religion from the souls of all." (Pope Pius IX, "Quanto Conficiamur Moerore", 1863 A.D.)

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Failure to Oppose Error is to Approve of It

"Not to oppose error is to approve it; and not to defend truth is to suppress it." (Pope St. Felix III)

Also See: Error / Truth (Coming Home Reflections)

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False Opinions Influence & Pervert Actions

"Whoso turns his attention to the bitter strifes of these days and seeks a reason for the troubles that vex public and private life must come to the conclusion that a fruitful cause of the evils which now afflict, as well as those which threaten, us lies in this: that false conclusions concerning divine and human things, which originated in the schools of philosophy, have now crept into all the orders of the State, and have been accepted by the common consent of the masses. For, since it is in the very nature of man to follow the guide of reason in his actions, if his intellect sins at all his will soon follows; and thus it happens that false opinions, whose seat is in the understanding, influence human actions and pervert them. Whereas, on the other hand, if men be of sound mind and take their stand on true and solid principles, there will result a vast amount of benefits for the public and private good" (Pope Leo XIII, "Aeterni Patris", 1879 A.D.)

Also See: Truth / Error / Nature of Man (Coming Home Reflections)

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First Duty of the Flock When Shepherd Becomes a Wolf

"When the shepherd becomes a wolf, the first duty of the flock is to defend itself." (Dom Gueranger)

Also See: Bad / Fallen Priests (Priests & Vocations Reflections)

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Laments

"[F]or it is one of the most painful and grievous sights to see so many souls, redeemed by the blood of Christ, snatched from salvation by the whirlwind of an age of error, precipitated into the abyss of eternal death." (Pope Leo XIII, "Supremi Apostolatus Officio", 1883 A.D.)

"How much cause we have to grieve over the most cruel and sacrilegious war brought upon the Catholic Church in almost all regions of the world during these turbulent times" (Pope Pius IX, "Quanto Conficiamur Moerore", 1863 A.D.)

"Now, just like the present age, our pontificate is weighed down by ever so many cares, anxieties, and troubles, by reason of very severe calamities that have taken place and by reason of the fact that many have strayed away from truth and virtue." (Pope Pius XII, "Munificentissimus Deus", 1950 A.D.)

"As a result of this filthy medley of errors which creeps in from every side, and as the result of the unbridled license to think, speak and write, We see the following: morals deteriorated, Christ's most holy religion despised, the majesty of divine worship rejected, the power of this Apostolic See plundered, the authority of the Church attacked and reduced to base slavery, the rights of bishops trampled on, the sanctity of marriage infringed, the rule of every government violently shaken and many other losses for both the Christian and the civil commonwealth. Venerable brothers, We are compelled to weep and share in your lament that this is the case." (Pope Pius IX, "Qui Pluribus", 1846 A.D.)

"Although God may console Us with you, We are nonetheless sad. This is due to the numberless errors and the teachings of perverse doctrines which, no longer secretly and clandestinely but openly and vigorously, attack the Catholic faith. You know how evil men have raised the standard of revolt against religion through philosophy (of which they proclaim themselves doctors) and through empty fallacies devised according to natural reason. In the first place, the Roman See is assailed and the bonds of unity are, every day, being severed. The authority of the Church is weakened and the protectors of things sacred are snatched away and held in contempt. The holy precepts are despised, the celebration of divine offices is ridiculed, and the worship of God is cursed by the sinner. All things which concern religion are relegated to the fables of old women and the superstitions of priests. Truly lions have roared in Israel. With tears We say: 'Truly they have conspired against the Lord and against His Christ.' Truly the impious have said: 'Raze it, raze it down to its foundations.'" (Pope Pius VIII, "Traditi Humilitati", 1829 A.D.)

"Can we be Catholic in mind and heart and gaze with dry eyes on that land where our wondrous Redeemer deigned to establish the seat of His kingdom? Now We see His teachings attacked and His reverence outraged, His Church embattled and His Vicar opposed. So many souls redeemed by His blood are now lost, the choicest portion of His flock, a people faithful to Him for nineteen centuries. How can We bear to look upon His chosen people exposed to a constant and ever-present danger of apostasy, pushed toward error and vice, material miseries, and moral degradation?... Finally, the general social order is undermined at its foundations. Books and journals, schools and universities, clubs and theaters, monuments and political discourse, photographs and the fine arts, everything conspires to pervert minds and corrupt hearts. Meanwhile the oppressed and suffering people tremble and the anarchic sects arouse themselves. The working classes raise their heads and go to swell the ranks of socialism, communism, and anarchy. Characters exhaust themselves and many souls, no longer knowing how to suffer nobly nor how to redeem themselves manfully, take their lives with cowardly suicide." (Pope Leo XIII, "Custodi Di Quella Fede", 1892 A.D.)

Also See: State of Things / Laments

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One Should Not Place One's Happiness in the Desire for Possessions 

"Furthermore, beloved sons and venerable brothers, we cannot be silent about another most pernicious error, an evil that is pitifully tearing apart and deeply disturbing minds, hearts, and souls. We are referring to that unbridled and damnable self-love and self-interest that drive many to seek their own advantage and profit with clearly no regard for their neighbor. We mean that thoroughly insatiable passion for power and possessions that overrides all the rules of justice and honesty and never ceases by every means possible to amass and greedily heap up wealth. Completely absorbed in the things of earth, forgetful of God, religion and their souls, they wrongly place all their happiness in procuring riches and money. Let such people recollect and meditate seriously upon the very sobering words of Christ, the Lord: 'What will it profit a man, if he gains the whole world and forfeits his life?' Let them also reflect upon the teaching of Paul: 'Those who desire to be rich fall into temptation, into a snare, into many senseless and hurtful desires that drag men down to ruin and destruction. For the love of money is the root of all evil; it is through this craving that some have wandered away and pierced their hearts with many pangs.'" (Pope Pius IX, "Quanto Conficiamur Moerore", 1863 A.D.)

Also See: Riches / Wealth (Catholic Life Reflections)

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Our Age is Hostile to Justice & Truth

"Our lot has been cast in an age that is bitterly hostile to justice and truth" (Pope Leo XIII, "Mirae Caritatis", 1902 A.D.)

Also See: Truth / Error / Nature of Man (Coming Home Reflections)

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Persecution of the Church Ultimately Leads to Benefits

"The true religion has shown forth with greater splendor the more it has been oppressed." (Pope St. Symmachus, c. 506 A.D.)

"If the Lord wishes that other persecution should be suffered, the Church feels no alarm; on the contrary, persecutions purify her and confer upon her fresh force and a new beauty." (Pope Pius IX)

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Return to Primal Constitution Constitutes Recovery

"When a society is perishing, the wholesome advice to give to those who would restore it is to call it to the principles from which it sprang; for the purpose and perfection of an association is to aim at and to attain that for which it is formed, and its efforts should be put in motion and inspired by the end and object which originally gave it being. Hence, to fall away from its primal constitution implies disease; to go back to it, recovery." (Pope Leo XIII, "Rerum Novarum", 1891 A.D.)

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Unjust Laws Are a Species of Violence

"Human law is law only by virtue of its accordance with right reason; and thus it is manifest that it flows from the eternal law. And in so far as it deviates from right reason it is called an unjust law; in such case it is no law at all, but rather a species of violence." (St. Thomas Aquinas, Doctor of the Church and "greatest theologian in the history of the Church")

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The Victory Will Be With God

"Verily no one of sound mind can doubt the issue of this contest between man and the Most High. Man, abusing his liberty, can violate the right and the majesty of the Creator of the Universe; but the victory will ever be with God - nay, defeat is at hand at the moment when man, under the delusion of his triumph, rises up with most audacity. Of this we are assured in the holy books by God Himself. Unmindful, as it were, of His strength and greatness, He 'overlooks the sins of men' (Wisd. xi., 24), but swiftly, after these apparent retreats, 'awaked like a mighty man that hath been surfeited with wine' (Ps. 1xxvii., 65), 'He shall break the heads of his enemies' (Ps. 1xxvii., 22), that all may know 'that God is the king of all the earth' (Ib. 1xvi, 8), 'that the Gentiles may know themselves to be men' (Ib. ix., 20)." (Pope St. Pius X, "E Supremi", 1903 A.D.)

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War Has Been Declared Against Everything Supernatural

"Recourse to God, so infinitely good, is all the more necessary because, far from abating, the struggle grows fiercer and expands unceasingly. It is no longer only the Christian faith that they would uproot at all costs from the hearts of the people; it is any belief which lifting man above the horizon of this world would supernaturally bring back his wearied eyes to heaven. Illusion on the subject is no longer possible. War has been declared against everything supernatural, because behind the supernatural stands God, and because it is God that they want to tear out of the mind and heart of man." (Pope St. Pius X, "Une Fois Encore", 1907 A.D.)

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Misc. 

"Many at the present time...wish God and His Church to be altogether exiled and excluded from the midst of human society" (Pope Leo XIII, "Arcanum", 1880 A.D.)

"O only-begotten Jesus Christ, Word of the Eternal Father: Hear me invoke your clemency! Speak peace, I beseech you, to the tempest that shakes your Church, and with the effusion of the blood of one who is your servant, end the persecution of your people, Lord. Amen." (St. Peter of Alexandria)

"Look at the great foundation of the Church, that most solid of rocks, upon whom Christ built the Church! And what does the Lord say to him? 'O you of little faith,' He says, 'why did you doubt!'" [Origen ("the greatest scholar of Christian antiquity" - although he would eventually be excommunicated and be regarded as a heretic), 3rd century A.D.]

"As to what We have called the goods of the soul, which consist chiefly in the practice of the true religion and in the unswerving observance of the Christian precepts, We see them daily losing esteem among men, either by reason of forgetfulness or disregard, in such wise that all that is gained for the well-being of the body seems to be lost for that of the soul. A striking proof of the lessening and weakening of the Christian faith is seen in the insults too often done to the Catholic Church, openly and publicly - insults, indeed, which an age cherishing religion would not have tolerated. For these reasons, an incredible multitude of men is in danger of not achieving salvation; and even nations and empires themselves cannot long remain unharmed, since, when Christian institutions and morality decline, the main foundation of human society goes together with them." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890 A.D.)

"We have good reason to deplore the public institutions in which the teaching of the sciences and arts is purposely so organized that the name of God is passed over in silence or visited with vituperation; to deplore the license - growing more shameless by the day - of the press in publishing whatever it pleases, and the license of speech in addressing any kind of insult to Christ our God and His Church. And We deplore no less the consequent laxity and apathy in the practice of the Catholic religion which if not quite open apostasy from the Faith, is certainly going to prove an easy road to it, since it is a manner of life having nothing in common with faith. Nobody who ponders this disorder and the surrender of the most fundamental principles will be astonished if afflicted nations everywhere are groaning under the heavy hand of God's vengeance and stand anxious and trembling in fear of worse calamities." (Pope Leo XIII, "Magnae Dei Matris", 1892 A.D.)

"We learn from the writings and deeds of the holy fathers that the Catholic faith without which (as the Apostle says) it is impossible to please God, has often been attacked by false followers of the same faith, or rather by perverse assailants, and by those who, desirous of the world's glory, are led on by proud curiosity to know more than they should; and that it has been defended against such persons by the Church's faithful spiritual knights armed with the shield of faith. Indeed these kinds of wars were prefigured in the physical wars of the Israelite people against idolatrous nations. Therefore in these spiritual wars the holy Catholic Church, illuminated in the truth of faith by the rays of light from above and remaining ever spotless through the Lord's providence and with the help of the patronage of the saints, has triumphed most gloriously over the darkness of error as over profligate enemies." (Council of Constance)

"It is well established that the first and profound source of the evils by which the modern state is afflicted, from this fact, that the universal standard of morality is denied and rejected, not only in the private life of individuals but also in the state itself, and in the mutual relationships which exist between races and nations; that is, the natural law is being nullified by detraction and neglect. This natural law rests on God as its foundation, the omnipotent creator and author of all, and likewise the supreme and most perfect legislator, the most wise and just vindicator of human actions. When the eternal Godhead is rashly denied, then the principle of all probity totters and sways, and the voice of nature becomes silent, or gradually is weakened, which teaches the unlearned as well as those who have not as yet acquired the experience of civilization what is right and what is not right; what is permitted, and what is not permitted, and warns them that some day they must render an account for their good and evil deeds before the Supreme Judge." (Pius XII, "Summi Pontificatus", 1939 A.D.)

"[M]any who live in the lap of luxury call themselves brethren of the multitude whom in their heart of hearts they despise; and in the same way with minds puffed up by pride, they take no thought to obey any law, or fear any power. They call self love liberty, and think themselves 'born free like a wild ass's colt.' Snares and temptation to sin abound; We know that impious or immoral dramas are exhibited on the stage; that books and journals are written to jeer at virtue and ennoble crime; that the very arts, which were intended to give pleasure and proper recreation, have been made to minister to impurity. Nor can We look to the future without fear, for new seeds of evil are sown, and as it were poured into the heart of the rising generation. As for the public schools, there is no ecclesiastical authority left in them, and in the years when it is most fitting for tender minds to be trained carefully in Christian virtue, the precepts of religion are for the most part unheard. Men more advanced in age encounter a yet graver peril from evil teaching, which is of such a kind as to blind the young by misleading words, instead of filling them with the knowledge of the truth. Many now-a-days seek to learn by the aid of reason alone, laying divine faith entirely aside; and, through the removal of its bright light, they stumble and fail to discern the truth" (Pope Leo XIII, "Exeunte Iam Anno", 1888 A.D.)

"The Church, it is certain, at no time and in no particular is deserted by God; hence, there is no reason why she should be alarmed at the wickedness of men; but in the case of nations falling away from Christian virtue there is not a like ground of assurance, 'for sin maketh nations miserable.' If every bygone age has experienced the force of this truth, wherefore should not our own? There are, in truth, very many signs which proclaim that just punishments are already menacing, and the condition of modern States tends to confirm this belief, since we perceive many of them in sad plight from intestine disorders, and not one entirely exempt. But, should those leagued together in wickedness hurry onward in the road they have boldly chosen, should they increase in influence and power in proportion as they make headway in their evil purposes and crafty schemes, there will be ground to fear lest the very foundations nature has laid for States to rest upon be utterly destroyed. Nor can such misgivings be removed by any mere human effort, especially as a vast number of men, having rejected the Christian faith, are on that account justly incurring the penalty of their pride, since blinded by their passions they search in vain for truth, laying hold on the false for the true, and thinking themselves wise when they call 'evil good, and good evil,' and 'put darkness in the place of light, and light in the place of darkness.' It is therefore necessary that God come to the rescue, and that, mindful of His mercy, He turn an eye of compassion on human society." (Pope Leo XIII, "Sapientiae Christianae", 1890 A.D.)

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