All posts by LG

Enthronement of the Sacred Heart

When Jesus appeared to St Margaret Mary in the 17th century He gave her, among others, the following promises to those who would be devoted to His Sacred Heart:

“I will give them all the graces necessary for their state of life; I will establish peace in their families; I will console them in all their troubles.”

In a world where the family unit is constantly under attack, both from within and from without, we are so deeply in need of entrustment to the Sacred Heart of Jesus.

Pope Pius XII often recommended the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus to newly married couples, saying: “Therefore, dear newlyweds, the image of the Sacred Heart of Jesus – the Heart that so loved mankind – must be installed and adored in your homes as would the image of a closest and most beloved relative. This image will pour forth the fullness of His blessing upon you and your children.”

The Enthronement of the Sacred Heart in the family, inspired by our Lord Jesus and supported by several popes, is one of the most powerful weapons to defend and preserve the Christian family in God’s grace and loving care.

Enthronement of the Sacred Heart of Jesus is the “spiritual anchor” of the family:

“Through the Enthronement ceremony, the Sacred Heart of Jesus, pulsing with the life of God and nurturing each family member with a superabundance of graces, becomes the spiritual heart of the Catholic home.” (Matthew Karmel)

There are 9 additional promises which Jesus gave to St Margaret Mary. Do you know what they are?

How to conduct the Enthronement ceremony:

https://bit.ly/consecrationsacredheart

For a detailed article on the history of the Enthronement of the Sacred Heart:

https://onepeterfive.wpengine.com/enthronement-of-the-sacred-heart-the-spiritual-anchor-of-the-domestic-church/

LG Sleiman

The God Of Paradox

By Saint Augustine

“You are a God of infinite power yet utterly merciful

You can hide yourself from us and yet be with us all the time

You are the Creator of both raw energy and gentle beauty

You never change and yet You are the Author of change everywhere

You are neither old nor young yet You make all things new

You are endlessly active and yet the source of true rest

You love totally but without obsession

You possess us completely but without anxiety or domination

You owe us nothing but pay off all the debts of our sins.”

A meditation on Psalm 35:10 By Saint Augustine.

Prayer for a Loved One

In the midst of my plight, I turn to you, O holy Mother of God, my Mother, begging you to turn the gaze of your merciful eyes upon me, surround me with your love and protection, and lead me to know and love your divine Son, Jesus Christ my Lord.

A loved one of mine was going through a difficult time in her life and, as I looked on, I sought to pray for her in the same measure as her difficulties were great.

My prayer was guided by what I had recently discovered about the intimate union of our Lady with the Sacred Heart of her divine Son, in the midst of His most difficult moments, through the revelations of Sister Maria of Agreda (a 16th century Franciscan nun in Spain).

Sister Maria writes that holy Mary, through a special grace, was given the privilege of “seeing” all that her divine Son suffered during His Sacred Passion, as well as perceiving the unceasing acts of love and prayer of His Sacred Heart.

Christ had long promised His Mother that “in return for the new human existence which she had given Him in her virginal womb [the Incarnation], He would, by His almighty power, give her a new existence of divine and eminent grace above all other creatures”, and this promise of Christ “was continually fulfilled [in the course of her earthly life].”

“To this favour was due also her deep science and enlightenment concerning all the operations of the sacred humanity of her Son, none of which ever escaped her knowledge and attention.”

But whatever Mary “perceived” in the interior of her Son’s Heart, she also ”imitated” with fidelity:

“Whatever she thus perceived she imitated; so that she was always anxious to study and penetrate [Christ’s interior acts] with deep understanding, to put them promptly into action, and to practice them courageously and zealously during all her life. In this neither sorrow could disturb her, nor anguish hinder her, nor persecution detain her, nor the bitterness of her suffering weaken her.”

As a consequence of her “deep science and enlightenment”, Mary “felt in her own virginal body all the torments of Christ our Lord, both interior and exterior.”

But within such a hidden mystery, “there was concealed therein another mystery. This was, that the desire of Christ to see His exalted love and [goodness] as exhibited in His Passion copied in all its magnitude in a mere creature, was fulfilled in her, and no one possessed a greater right to this favour than His own Mother.” (Mystical City of God, volume 3, Chapter XXII, 670)

Thus was Mary increasingly conformed to the likeness of her divine Son, both in His suffering and in His acts of mercy—even in the midst of His most difficult and painful torments.

Filled with these thoughts, I pondered, how much more can Mary’s vision penetrate the depths of our own experiences, trials, and struggles?

With each glance of her soul, Mary understood the depth of Christ’s suffering as well as the unfathomable love which moved Him to suffer. If her gaze can penetrate all the depth of the Son of God’s suffering, love, and interior movements, how much more can Mary penetrate all the depth of our own hearts?

Do we not pray in the Salve Regina, “…turn then, O most gracious advocate, your eyes of mercy towards us, and after this our exile, show unto us the blessed fruit of your womb, Jesus”?

Just as Mother Mary was fully present to Christ in His suffering, she is also able to be present to me in the course of my earthly pilgrimage, and nothing is impervious to the turn of her merciful gaze.

By a special grace from God, the one who is “full of grace”, with one glance of her eyes, understands me better than I understand myself. And with that understanding, Mother Mary sees clearly all the depth of my struggles, the nature of my pain, and the desires of my heart.

I therefore resolved to make the following prayer for my loved one, and to entrust her, and all the dimensions of her quest, to the holy Mother of God:

I beseech you, holy Mother of God, my Mother Mary, to turn your loving gaze upon my loved one, surround her on every side with your unfailing protection; cover her in your holy mantle; press her to your holy bosom; and receive all the depth of her needs, struggles, and intentions in your Immaculate Heart—both those intentions that are spoken, and those that remain hidden—with the same love with which you never failed to watch over your divine Son, unto peace, joy, and eternal life.

“Hail Mary, full of grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of your womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners, now and at the hour of our death. Amen.”

LG Sleiman

Elijah and the First Resurrection

The prophet Elijah appears in the Old Testament as suddenly as a lightning bolt, effortlessly manifests one miracle after another, until in the final analysis he is caught up into the heavens without suffering death.

But it doesn’t end there for Elijah. Prophecy declares that Elijah revisits the earth both (1) before Christ’s first coming and (2) before Christ’s second coming.

We know that Elijah has already fulfilled (1) –he has already preceded Christ’s first coming–from our Lord’s own words:

“The disciples asked him, “Why then do the teachers of the law say that Elijah must come first?”  Jesus replied, “To be sure, Elijah comes and will restore all things. But I tell you, Elijah has already come, and they did not recognize him, but have done to him everything they wished. In the same way the Son of Man is going to suffer at their hands.” Then the disciples understood that he was talking to them about John the Baptist.” (Matthew 17: 10-13)

Of all the prophets known to us, Elijah stands out as conspicuously as his miracles are dramatic, and his influence continues to be felt throughout the centuries, leading into our own time.

Recent research has uncovered the fact of a letter that was written by Elijah outlining the various epochs of human history that lead straight into the final coming of Christ and the definitive establishment of God’s Kingdom on earth.

Dr Ken Johnson’s documentary reveals that Elijah spoke of a glorious thousand year reign of the Kingdom of God upon earth at the culmination of human history—something that is unequivocally corroborated in the Book of Revelation:

“Then I saw thrones, and seated on them were those to whom the authority to judge was committed. Also I saw the souls of those who had been beheaded for the testimony of Jesus and for the word of God, and those who had not worshiped the beast or its image and had not received its mark on their foreheads or their hands. They came to life and reigned with Christ for a thousand years. The rest of the dead did not come to life until the thousand years were ended. This is the first resurrection. Blessed and holy is the one who shares in the first resurrection! Over such the second death has no power, but they will be priests of God and of Christ, and they will reign with him for a thousand years.” (Revelation 20:4-6).

Saint Paul also confirmed that “[Christ] must reign until he has put all his enemies under his feet. The last enemy to be destroyed is death. For ‘God has put all things in subjection under his feet.’” (1 Corinthians 15:25-27) Clearly, this represents a real triumph on the part of Christ over all His enemies on every level, and the definitive establishment of the Kingdom of God on earth.

Elijah’s letter, referred to above, seems to have been lost to posterity but, thanks to the providence of God, a commentary on his letter is extant in the Tanna Eliyahu.

Elijah was given to conquer the false prophets of his time, to stir the conscience of his nation, to restore the Covenant in Israel, and to know the future course of events.

It is clear, therefore, that Elijah has been given a pivotal role to play in ancient times as well as in the future, and to return towards the end of time to prepare for the final coming of the Messiah:

“Behold, I will send you Elijah the prophet before the great and awesome day of the LORD comes. And he will turn the hearts of fathers to their children and the hearts of children to their fathers, lest I come and strike the land with a decree of utter destruction.” (Malachi 4:5,6)

What will Elijah’s future coming to earth look like? This is not an easy question to answer–suffice it to say for the present that a deeper study of prophecy would yield (at least) certain glimpses into the answer.

God is preparing great things for those who love Him. The time of trials and troubles, we know very well from Scripture, is only temporary—it is a sort of stepping stone for spiritual victories and future glory, especially because trials really only help to transform the faithful soul into the precious jewel that the Lord already perceives in the soul’s “DNA” (so to speak), even as gold is purified in the fire (cf. 1 Peter 1:7).

We must tread the path set out for us by God through the ‘valley of tears’, sustained by the grace of God, encouraged by the example of the saints, strengthened by the sacraments of the Church, and, above all, nurtured and protected by the holy Mother of God and by the Sacred Heart of Jesus, “until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.” (Ephesians 4:13)

Jesus will return and establish His Kingdom on earth in the fulness of time. That’s why He taught us to pray: “Thy kingdom come; thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

LG Sleiman

The Covid Landscape

Latest revision: 9 October 2021

What is happening in this “covid world” that suddenly and unexpectedly dawned upon our lives–an issue that quickly rose to a place of global prominence in the early 21st century?

We thought we knew some of the answers in early 2020, but the picture has been rapidly changing for months on end, and it seems that the final word on this matter is yet to be spoken.

So how are we to make sense of the mountain loads of information constantly bombarding our lives, day after day?

Firstly, I will give a brief summary of the situation as I see it, and, afterwards, I will provide more details and references.

In brief, the number of covid deaths is now thought to be much lower than previously announced because the Australian government now recognises that many of those deaths were not due to covid (even when patients happened to have had covid at the time of death); the overall number of deaths in Australia is no higher than in previous years–so there are no “excess deaths” in Australia (nor in most countries), as such; the number of vaccine deaths and vaccine adverse reactions as reported by the Australian TGA is alarmingly high; the World Health Organisation (WHO) and others have attested that covid is no more dangerous than the common flu; various doctors, scientists, lawyers and politicians in Australia are questioning the wisdom and the legality of mandated vaccines (or coercive measures to vaccinate); doctors in Australia have been “gagged”–that is, they are not allowed to advise against the vaccines on pain of being “investigated” by AHPRA; emerging evidence shows that sworn affidavits from leading scientists and doctors, such as Professor Luc A. Montagnier, have been submitted to the International Criminal Court by lawyers in several countries, alleging governments across the world and their advisors are complicit in acts of genocide, crimes against humanity, and breaches of the Nuremberg Code; Sydney solicitor Tony Nikolic in August/September 2021 filed a  lawsuit against Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant in the NSW Supreme Court, arguing that public health orders requiring ‘a broad class of workers’ be vaccinated is illegal and unconstitutional, seeking a declaration that the NSW public health orders are invalid, and seeking a ban on any further orders made by Mr Hazzard and Dr Chant.

There are so many more facets to all of this which show, beyond any doubt, that the situation, as we speak, is evolving rapidly.

The situation worldwide is not what it may seem to be. Whilst the mainstream media continues to portray one image, there are powerful forces at work which challenge and undermine this image. One has to examine both sides of the argument very carefully in order to come to an informed opinion.

The situation in Australia, the response to the so-called ‘pandemic’, and the various responses of government officials, doctors, lawyers, and other public activists–all of this is undergoing rapid change, and more so than what you will witness on the main news channels.

More than likely, this rapidly changing scenario will continue to change our perceptions and beliefs, as it will also impact on the government’s public health orders, and upon our personal decisions as we seek to navigate our way through this alleged crisis.

There are many factors at play, including political, medical, legal, and practical factors. So, in order to really appreciate what is happening, and to avoid getting caught inside the strong bias of the mainstream narrative, one has to try to grasp the more general landscape of affairs.

Please see the points below for more information.

THE GENERAL PICTURE

This report is by no means comprehensive. There are many more facts that would fill entire books, but these facts are provided here in order to give some idea of how rapidly the world situation is evolving, how the vaccine rollout is being seriously called into question by many professionals and governments around the world, and what may be the likely outcomes.

In Australia:

  • As of late August 2021, the number of vaccine deaths as reported by the Australian TGA is well over 400 deaths, and, in all likelihood, much higher in reality because not all vaccine deaths are being reported, as such;
  • The number of adverse effects of the vaccines (Pfizer, Moderna, AstraZeneca, and others) as reported by the Australian TGA is now in excess of 50,000, and probably much higher in reality;
  • AFL Solicitors and Tony Nikolic are currently challenging the legality of mandated covid vaccines in the Supreme Court of NSW. The next round of court sessions is due toward the end of September and early October 2021, and could likely change everything;
  • A legal challenge to mandatory Covid-19 vaccine requirements for some NSW workers has been launched by AFL Solicitors. Sydney solicitor Tony Nikolic on Wednesday 1st September filed the suit against Health Minister Brad Hazzard and Chief Health Officer Dr Kerry Chant in the NSW Supreme Court. He argues that public health orders requiring ‘a broad class of workers’ be vaccinated is illegal and unconstitutional, as are the extra powers granted to police to enforce public health orders. The suit will seek a declaration that the NSW public health orders are invalid and a ban on any further orders made by Mr Hazzard and Dr Chant. ‘No-one is above the law, including ministers and public health officers.’
  • Craig Kelly, leader of the United Australia Party, is challenging the government as to the sort of “health and safety” directives they have been issuing and he promises to put an end to the prospect of rolling out ‘vaccine passports’ in Australia because they are unconstitutional, and because they would lead to further divisions and unhealthy tensions in our society;
  • the NSW Department of Health recently admitted that the number of covid deaths is much less than previously thought, because, in fact, many of those who allegedly died “from covid” did not actually die “from covid”, but only “with covid”. This change has been made official and, effectively, reduces the number of so-called “covid deaths” dramatically, by a factor of 10 or more.
  • most people will recover from covid on the strength of their natural immunity (boosted by vitamins C, D [sunlight], and zinc) or with the help of forms of treatment that have been for many years tried and proven, such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine + zinc;
  • Concerned doctors, paramedics, and nurses globally are now joining with Australian doctors calling for transparency. Australian Regulators must cease and desist from silencing Australian Doctors from bringing peer reviewed science and education to the Australian community.
  • Member of Parliament, Tanya Davies revealed earlier this month that AHPRA notified all doctors in Australia that, if they were to undermine the rollout of vaccines in Australia in any way (including advice against the vaccines), they would be investigated and face possible de-registration (equals: loss of career in medicine).
  • On 27 August 2021, Craig Kelly, leader of the United Australia Party, noted that: “The Universal Declaration of Bioethics and Human Rights makes it a violation of Human Rights to coerce or pressure a person to undergo any preventive medical treatment, let alone an injection of a novel experimental genetic agent that has zero long term safety data.”

Internationally:

  • The survival rate of Covid is greater than 99.5 percent. Government medical experts have, from the outset of the “pandemic”, emphasised the fact that the vast majority of the population are not in any danger from Covid.
  • There was no excess mortality with the outbreak of “covid” [until the vaccines starting rolling out].
  • Covid “death counts” have been artificially inflated, grossly overestimated, as admitted by many healthcare officials around the world.
  • The PCR test being used to detect covid-19 “is not approved for diagnostic purposes. It can under no circumstances tell us anything about infections……and, therefore, cannot be the basis for any anti-coronavirus measures”.
  • the World Health Organisation (among other doctors and scientists) recently declared covid-19 to be no more dangerous than the common flu and, as several politicians, such as George Christensen, Craig Kelly, Pauline Hanson and others have recommended, we have to learn to live with the coronavirus, because in fact we have been living with one or another of its variants for many years; 
  • most people will recover from covid on the strength of their natural immunity (boosted by vitamins C, D [sunlight], and zinc) or with the help of forms of treatment that have been for many years tried and proven, such as ivermectin and hydroxychloroquine + zinc;
  • the overall number of deaths has been no greater than in previous years–in fact, it is less than in previous years in most countries. So there are no “excess deaths” due to covid (and, mysteriously, the common flu numbers just disappeared). For detailed statistics please see: worldometer.com
  • The inventor of mRNA technology (used in some of the covid vaccines), Dr Robert Malone has gone public claiming that these vaccines are extremely harmful and that the CDC is suppressing the numbers of adverse effects and deaths due to the vaccines.
  • “Serious caution has been issued by prestigious medical authorities, including Dr. Robert Malone (one of the original developers of mRNA technologies), Dr. Michael Yeadon (former researcher and vice president of Pfizer), Dr. Vladimir Zelenko (who has treated over 6000 Covid patients), and Dr. Luc Montagnier (a Nobel laureate for his discovery of HIV). They all encourage people not to take the vaccine.”
  • Dr Peter McCullough, one of the most renowned and most widely published doctors in his field of medicine, says that the vaccine is failing in the UK and in Israel.
  • Professor Dolores Cahill, a world renowned specialist doctor in Immunology, says that Covid-19 vaccines do not prevent infection or transmission. We’ve seen outbreak infections where vaccination rates are high; Covid deaths in double vaccinated people are very high. It’s now also clear that natural immunity confers longer lasting and better protection against infection.
  • Dr. Luc Montagnier, a French virologist and recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Medicine has recently exposed the dangers of the COVID-19 vaccines (mRNA vaccines). The vaccines don’t stop the virus, argues the prominent virologist, they do the opposite — they “feed the virus,” and facilitate its development into stronger and more transmittable variants. These new virus variants will be more resistant to vaccination and may cause more health implications than their “original” versions.
  • Dr. Reiner Fuellmich is an international trial lawyer who has gathered all the evidence from over 100 scientists and specialist doctors that the covid pandemic is the worst crime against humanity ever committed. Together with more than 1,000 lawyers worldwide he is prosecuting the WHO, CDC, the WEF, and others who are complicit in this crime against humanity. They are preparing a second Nuremberg trial. They have the evidence that the PCR test is a fraud, unable to detect a virus. Also the lockdowns have no scientific basis.
  • In America: Bangor, Maine: Liberty Counsel has filed a lawsuit representing over 2,000 Maine healthcare workers to fight a measure that requires all health care workers in the state of Maine to receive full COVID-19 vaccination.
  • As of late August 2021 in the United Kingdom, Public Health England released a technical briefing reporting that two-thirds of those who have died with the Delta variant in the United Kingdom had received both doses of the COVID-19 vaccine.
  • Most of those hospitalised in Israel have received double vaccination. These and other alarming statistics are emerging that raise serious concerns about the vaccine, especially those vaccines that use the novel mRNA technology, which has never before been used on the human race, which is an experimental drug, and which has zero long term safety data.
  • New evidence, including sworn affidavits from leading experts such as Professor Luc A. Montagnier, has been submitted to the International Criminal Court by lawyers in several countries alleging Government’s across the world and their advisors are complicit in genocide, crimes against humanity and breaches of the Nuremberg Code.
  • A major study conducted by Israeli researchers into natural immunity has found that immunity acquired via infection from Covid-19 is superior to immunity from the Pfizer vaccine.
  • The former Vice President of Pfizer attested that the vaccines are “not safe, because the gene-based design makes your body manufacture virus spike protein, and we know, and we’ve known for years, the virus spike proteins trigger blood clots.”
  • The government of the United Kingdom has released new data showing that the vast majority of “delta variant” deaths are occurring among people who got “fully vaccinated” for the Wuhan coronavirus (Covid-19).
  • The UK Scraps Vaccine Passports, Lockdowns And PCR Tests.
  • and many more…stay tuned.

LG Sleiman

Australian Bishops’ Letter on Vaccines

I read the letter of the Australian bishops conference of April 2021 regarding covid vaccines. 

This document engages with a strong emphasis on the moral permissibility of taking the vaccine.

What it does not emphasise is the fact that, even if a vaccine is “morally permissible”, it is not necessarily “physically safe”.

In fact, the bishops’ document goes on to say that “it is not the role of bishops to advise on the safety and efficacy of vaccines”. 

Why spill so much ink on defending the moral permissibility of the vaccine when you’re not in a position to advise on the safety of the vaccine? Curious…

Moreover, the above bishops letter does not draw attention to an entire litany of very disconcerting realities: the risk of contracting Covid as compared with the risk of contracting the common flu (it’s minimal), the fact that alternative, effective cures for Covid have been consistently suppressed by the powers-that-be, the fact that Australian doctors are not permitted to speak against the vaccines–on pain of losing their livelihood, the fact that the collateral damage caused by the lockdowns on every level of human life is enormously disproportionate to the relatively small risks posed by this virus, the fact that many top medical experts and scientists around the world are warning that the ‘vaccines’ (in effect, experimental gene therapies) are causing much harm, and do nothing to stop the contraction and transmission of the virus.

It would be helpful if the bishops could put things into perspective for their flock, because their flock is extremely vulnerable to the harm brought about by powerful misinformation campaigns conducted around the nation, and the world.

LG Sleiman

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Theology

What is theology?

Theology is the study of God’s relations with humankind, God’s intervention in human affairs, God’s Self-revelation, especially in the Incarnation, when the Son of God became man and entered human history as Jesus, the Christ.

God’s Self-revelation was complete when the Father sent His only begotten Son into the world, because the Son of God is “the effulgence of his glory, and the very image of his substance.” (Hebrews 1:3)

Theology seeks an understanding of God’s revelation, or as St Anselm put it, theology is “faith seeking understanding”.

The revelation of Jesus Christ is summarised in the Apostles’ Creed, elaborated in the dogmas of the Church, and further expounded in the teachings of the Church Councils, the Fathers, Doctors, and Saints of the Church.

The word “dogma” does not mean “an obstinate insistence upon a certain point of view” (the modern day, pejorative sense of the word), but actually means a teaching that is both (1) revealed by God; and (2) defined by the Church as an integral part of God’s self-revelation.

Therefore, a “dogmatic teaching” is a teaching that is always and everywhere true, because it rests on the authority of the God who reveals Himself, and the authority of the Church which testifies to God’s self-revelation.

Some of the greatest theologians in the history of the Church include Saint Paul the Apostle, Saint John the Beloved, Saint Augustine, Saint John Chrysostom, Saint John Damascene, Saint Thomas Aquinas, and others.

LG Sleiman

Read more: What is the relationship of theology to philosophy?

The Appetites Of Man

1st June 2021
Feast of St Justin Martyr

The appetite for pleasure, money, and power: these are the fundamental appetites of human nature. Any and every temptation can only appeal to one or more of these three appetites.

These appetites can be man’s downfall, or else the path by which he overcomes and merits victory in Christ.

For to master these appetites is to be the master of oneself, to be self-possessed, and to be in a much greater capacity to surrender oneself to the will of God. But to be mastered by one’s appetites, by one or more of the appetites, is to become a slave to them, a slave to sin, and to be estranged from the grace and glory of God.

Saint John the Beloved warned against these appetites: “Do not love the world or anything in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world—the desires of the flesh, the desires of the eyes, and the pride of life—is not from the Father but from the world. The world is passing away, along with its desires; but whoever does the will of God remains forever.” (1 John 2: 15-17)

If one is mastered by one’s appetites (desires), this becomes like a spiritual wound which festers and grows, perhaps becomes a sort of spiritual abscess, against which the soul will struggle as it seeks sound health, until it is set free by the grace of God.

“The love of money is the root of all evil.” (1 Timothy 6:10) The same can be said of an immoderate love of pleasure or power.

How many souls have fallen because they could not liberate themselves from an attachment to the love of money, power or pleasure?

Whether one is a Christian or not, religious or not, priest or nun, brother or sister, mother or father, son or daughter, one can only advance toward union with God by mastering one’s appetites, by doing the will of God, through the gift of God’s grace with which He empowers us to overcome sin, temptation, and to master ourselves, for the glory of God.

He who does not master himself cannot submit his will to God, and he who does not submit to the will of God cannot master himself. These two go hand in hand.

For “The world is passing away, along with its desires; but whoever does the will of God remains forever.”

Notice too that the devil’s three temptations of Christ in the wilderness correspond to the three appetites (Matthew 4:1-11): for pleasure, power, and riches.

Isn’t it interesting that history seems to have given us clear examples of all three appetites leading to the downfall or temporary downfall of someone or other?

One mystic wrote that Judas betrayed our Lord because Judas was, from the very beginning, only interested in success and attached to the love of money—he controlled the common “purse” (collective money) for the apostles and he ultimately betrayed the Lord for 30 pieces of silver.

Saint Paul (before his conversion) was attached to power: he wanted to round up all Christians and put them away or put them to death.

Pope Alexander VI fell from grace because of his attachment to pleasure, power, and money: he had several mistresses and fathered several children, while securing his power through alliances with various political powers.

No one is immune from such trials, and we ought to be sober, watchful and vigilant, as the Lord encouraged us to be. (Luke 21:36)

The Personality of Jesus

Latest revision: 20th April 2022.

The personality of Jesus is revealed in His words, deeds, gestures, and even in His silences.

The Lord’s personality is so multifaceted, so much deeper than the most profound depths, and rich with unexpected graces, virtues, and love.

The Lord is so much greater than our ordinary experiences, so much greater as the Creator is above His creatures, that any present experience we have of Him seems only to be another stage disposing us for even greater knowledge.

How can we come to know the Lord when He is ineffable, mysterious, all powerful?

How can a mere mortal come to understand the God of creation?

When Job sought to understand the reason why God had allowed him to suffer so many losses, wounds, and tragedies, the Lord did not give him a direct response, but instead put a series of questions to Job:

“Then the Lord answered Job out of the whirlwind and said: “Who is this that darkens counsel by words without knowledge? Dress for action like a man; I will question you, and you make it known to me.

“Where were you when I laid the foundation of the earth? Tell me, if you have understanding. Who determined its measurements-surely you know! Or who stretched the line upon it? On what were its bases sunk, or who laid its cornerstone, when the morning stars sang together and all the sons of God shouted for joy?

“Or who shut in the sea with doors when it burst out from the womb, when I made clouds its garment and thick darkness its swaddling band, and prescribed limits for it and set bars and doors, and said, ‘Thus far shall you come, and no farther, and here shall your proud waves be stayed’?

“Have you commanded the morning since your days began, and caused the dawn to know its place, that it might take hold of the skirts of the earth, and the wicked be shaken out of it?

“Have you entered into the springs of the sea, or walked in the recesses of the deep? Have the gates of death been revealed to you, or have you seen the gates of deep darkness? Have you comprehended the expanse of the earth? Declare, if you know all this.

“Where is the way to the dwelling of light, and where is the place of darkness, that you may take it to its territory and that you may discern the paths to its home?” (Job 38: 1-13; 16-18; 19-20)

With these words the Lord indicates to Job, among other things, the infinite distance between the creature and the Creator–a distance that human strength alone cannot traverse.

But we need not fear, for Jesus taught us that He is able to overcome such an enormous distance:

“All things have been handed over to me by my Father, and no one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal him.” (Matthew 11:27)

The Father sent His Son into the world in order that the Son may reveal the Father to whomever He chooses: “Whoever has seen me has seen the Father.” (John 14:9)

On the way to the perfection of knowledge we can already begin to know the Lord by degrees, already begin to discern certain attributes of His personality from the Scriptures.

We observe, for example, that the Lord’s personality is marked by profound spontaneity, depth, and originality. His character embodies so many contraries, such as justice and mercy, power and humility, gentleness and wisdom. His love is unconditional yet uncompromising.

Our Lord Jesus Christ was infinitely gentle, patient, and merciful with sinners, the weak and abandoned, the lowly and impoverished; yet He was very severe, exacting, and just with those considered great and knowledgeable, the leaders of the people, and the proud and arrogant.

Consider His words to the Pharisees who, after Christ had healed a blind and mute man, accused Him of being in league with the devil:

“You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” (Matthew 12:34)

When Jesus declared Himself “the light of the world” (John 8:12) the Pharisees, not believing in Him nor accepting His authority, argued with the Lord and justified themselves by claiming to be the children of God. To which Jesus responded:

“If God were your Father, you would love me: for I came forth and am come from God; for neither have I come of myself, but he sent me. Why do you not understand my speech? Even because you cannot hear my word. You are of your father the devil, and the lusts of your father it is your will to do. He was a murderer from the beginning, and stands not in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he speaks a lie, he speaks of his own: for he is a liar, and the father thereof.” (John 8:42-44)

While teaching in Jerusalem on the eve of His Sacred Passion, knowing what was about to befall Him, Jesus warned the chief priests and elders of the people:

“The kingdom of God shall be taken away from you, and given to a nation producing the fruits of it.” (Matthew 21:43)

A brief reading of the Gospels will show that there are many other instances in which Jesus was very exacting and very severe with His interlocutors.

On the other hand, we find that Jesus was infinitely compassionate, gentle and merciful with those who were weak, forsaken, oppressed, and bound by sin. Christ did not hesitate to dine with sinners, to rescue the woman caught in adultery, and to forgive the thief on the cross who had been a sinner all his life.

For Jesus did not come to “break a bruised reed or quench a smouldering wick.” (Matthew 12:20)

Regarding the whole world, the Scripture says: “For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” (John 3:16)

And for those who had lost their way, Jesus said: “What man of you, having a hundred sheep, if he has lost one of them, does not leave the ninety-nine in the wilderness, and go after the one which is lost, until he finds it? And when he has found it, he lays it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” (Luke 15:3-5)

Jesus is the Good Shepherd and He is tireless in seeking out His lost sheep.

Regarding those who work very hard and are weary, Jesus called: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me; for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

So we see that Jesus did not apply the same ‘measure’ to all persons, nor extend Himself to everyone in the same way, for He “knew all men”, and “he needed not that any one should bear witness concerning man.” (John 2:24,25)

He was infinitely gentle with some, and extremely strict with others. Why so? 

The Lord explains: “Every one to whom much is given, of him will much be required; and of him to whom men commit much they will demand the more.” (Luke 12:48)

Jesus wants to save everyone: the strong and the weak, the humble and the proud, the honest and the dishonest, the righteous and the unrighteous, the good and the evil, but He cannot apply the same “medicine” to all.

Each one needs only to open his or her heart to the Lord Jesus who must, as the all wise, all loving, and all powerful Son of God, administer the right medicine to each one, working tirelessly so that everyone might come to believe in Him, for faith in Christ is the door to eternal life. (John 20:31)

And so the words of the Scripture ring more and more true, the more we realise the ways of the Lord, and the heights and depths of His wisdom:

“With the loyal thou dost show thyself loyal; with the blameless man thou dost show thyself blameless; with the pure thou dost show thyself pure; and with the crooked thou dost show thyself perverse. For thou dost deliver a humble people; but the haughty eyes thou dost bring down.

“Yea, thou dost light my lamp; the Lord my God lightens my darkness. Yea, by thee I can crush a troop; and by my God I can leap over a wall. This God—his way is perfect; the promise of the Lord proves true; he is a shield for all those who take refuge in him.” (Psalm 18:25-30)

Open Letter to the Bishops

Today we are witnessing a silent spiritual holocaust

This letter is also published at Church Militant

 

The Bishops of the Church today face the most difficult crisis in the entire history of the Church–a crisis greatly magnified by a series of crises layered one upon another, a crisis that manifests on every level of the Church’s existence: spiritual, ecclesiological, theological, liturgical, and pastoral. But the Bishops, successors of the twelve Apostles of Christ, also have great potential to transform the Church and the world.

In this letter I propose to give a brief outline of the origin of the Bishop’s Office, the range of challenges which confront the Bishops, the heart of the present crisis, the spiritual danger that souls are facing, and, last but not least, the power and efficacy of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Origin of the Bishop’s Office

In the year 33 AD our Lord Jesus Christ, having risen from the dead, ascended into heaven in the sight of His holy Mother Mary and His Apostles and was seated at the right hand of the Father. Ten days later the Holy Spirit came upon them amid the sound of a rushing wind and tongues of fire which sat upon their heads.

The twelve Apostles were empowered to teach the Gospel, govern the Church, sanctify souls for heaven, and to pass on their mission in an unbroken succession of shepherds until the end of the world.

The Apostles launched their evangelical mission with little more than the rigorous training, the spiritual gifts, and the Divine authority which Christ had bestowed upon them. The Church which they helped to establish (Ephesians 2:20) had, within three centuries, transformed virtually the entire world.

The Present Crisis

Fast forward 2,000 years and it appears that today there are powerful forces both in the world and in the Church hierarchy which would seek to reverse everything that the Apostles worked so hard to establish.

From the Second Vatican Council to the effects of the sexual revolution to the threat of totalitarian regimes to the ever widening influence of relativistic ideologies to the advent of Pope Francis to the widespread contestation of the definition of marriage to the present day Covid Crisis, the Church has suffered so many assaults within the space of just a few, short decades.

The Church is being tossed to and fro in a severe storm that threatens her very life, the teaching of the faith, the objectivity of moral values, authentic pastoral practice and, it seems, the very foundation of her Divine authority.

Will she survive? Will she emerge unscathed? “When the Son of Man comes, will He find faith on earth?” (Luke 18:8)

A Real Pandemic?

Today we are witnessing a world thoroughly shaken by an alleged health crisis.

Given the near global response to the virus, as the life and activities of the Church have undergone significant reconfiguration, the nature of the Church and her relationship to her children are implicitly called into question.

But who is pulling the strings of history? Is it the global elites who seek to build an earthly utopia on their own terms and conditions? Or is the Covid Response Team simply reacting to a worldwide health crisis? Or is it fair to say that, in the greater scheme of things, any and all such manoeuvres and machinations, regardless of their origin and purpose, are subordinate to the omniscience and omnipotence of a benevolent God, who determines the real course of history in mysterious ways?

Whatever you think about these matters, what is undeniable today is that we are witnessing the most universal and pervasive forms of intervention in the state of human affairs that the world has ever seen.

So what is really happening? Is the pandemic really real?

The Two Narratives

There are basically two competing narratives playing out on the world stage.

On the one hand, there is a narrative that says the new coronavirus is highly dangerous, that we ought to practice widespread lockdown measures in order to save lives and to completely eradicate the virus from society, and that we ought to suffer whatever the cost to our social, economic, and political freedoms in the meantime.

This idea was based upon theoretical contagion models—not on real data—which predicted millions and then tens of millions of deaths, was widely promoted by the mainstream media, and was acted upon by (most) governments.

On the other hand, there is another narrative, supported by many scientists and medical experts, which claims that the coronavirus is only about as dangerous as the common flu, that you cannot possibly eradicate it completely from society (no matter how many lockdowns you enforce), and that widespread lockdown measures have caused far more damage than the virus could ever have done.

A large number of governments together with the mainstream media are opposed to this narrative—so much so that many of us have long stared with wide-eyed fascination at how insular the Covid Response Team has been to the well researched and highly reputable opinions of renowned scientists and top medical experts from around the world.

The list is enormously long but it is worth mentioning a few of them:

In May 2020 the UK’s Chief Medical Officer confirmed that covid-19 is “harmless to the majority” of people.

Also in May the CDC (Center for Disease Control) released a statement saying that coronavirus is “nowhere near as lethal as earlier [theoretical] models claimed.”

In August the head immunologist at Tel Aviv University revealed that 99.99 percent of the world’s population has survived covid-19. 

And from a medical report in September 2020: “According to the latest immunological studies, the overall lethality of Covid-19 (IFR) in the general population ranges between 0.1% and 0.5% in most countries, which is comparable to the medium influenza pandemics of 1957 and 1968.”

Early in October, 9,000 (nine thousand) medical professionals signed a joint document strongly criticising the lockdowns. One could multiply such corroborating reports almost endlessly.

Which of these two narratives will prevail, in the final analysis? That remains to be seen.

Assume For A Moment

But let’s assume for a moment—just for argument’s sake—that there is a real pandemic. What would that mean for the Church?

Even if there were a real pandemic, could the Bishops actually relinquish their responsibility for the care of souls—a responsibility they have assumed in the eyes of God? Could the Bishops’ God-given mandate to save souls be justifiably subordinated to the strictures and demands of a health crisis? Would souls have less need of God in the event of a health crisis?

Let us acknowledge, the choice to close or to restrict Church services in the event of a health crisis is to subordinate the care of the soul to the care of the body, and effectively to reverse the order of priorities mandated by our Lord Jesus Himself:

“And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather fear him who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

Such a reversal of priorities has consequences for the understanding of the nature of the Church. It reaches deep into the life and consciousness of the Church, undermining traditional doctrines regarding the Divine foundation of the Church, her God-given authority, and her God-given mission.

If the subordination of the soul to the body continues it will lead, sooner or later, to the complete subordination of the Church to the State, forsaking obedience to her Lord and Master, Jesus Christ.

The Message of Complicity

When the doors of the Church are closed in the face of believers this fosters an insinuation that the holy Mass and other Church services are no longer “essential”.

When masks are mandated in Church this is counterproductive because, according to Scripture, we come together as the Body of Christ so that “with unveiled faces we may behold the glory of the living God.” (2 Corinthians 3:18)

When believers are denied Holy Communion on the tongue it robs them of a precious opportunity to express due reverence, devotion, and love for the Lord Jesus in the Eucharist.

When Church services are cancelled this deprives the faithful of coming into the sacramental Presence of God and worshipping God.

When the Bishops are all too ready to capitulate to widespread Church restrictions and closures—never before witnessed on such a scale in 2,000 years of Church history—this cannot but give a subtle impression that the Church has been transformed into a social institution, an instrument of the State, and has implicitly denied her Divine constitution.

Such a reconfiguration of the life and activity of the Church cannot help but insinuate that the Church is, in essence, subject to change; that she is no longer the custodian of the Revelation of Jesus Christ; that her role in the economy of salvation is non-essential.

Assault On The Faith

How many souls will be able to withstand the Covid Persecution? How many will emerge with a living faith? In the face of such wholesale surrender to the State, will the Church ever recover her rightful place in society?

This assault on the Faith is rendered all the more dangerous because it follows upon the heels of decades of spiritual devastation: for at least two or three generations vast numbers of Catholics have been deprived of authentic catechesis, secular ideologies have been quietly invading the life of the Church, moral values are ridiculed or altogether abandoned, and the Gospel often suffers dilution and compromise.

The Church and the World

The Church cannot serve both God and the world. She must choose one or the other.

The Lord Jesus said that we are “in the world” but not “of the world.” (John 17: 11-19) And the Apostle John wrote: “If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John 2:15)

But we might ask: Ought not the Church to love the world, as “God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life”? (John 3:16)

Here we come face to face with a profound paradox—a paradox that we ought to embrace rather than surrender to an unholy compromise with the world.

As G.K. Chesterton famously wrote, can a man “hate [the world] enough to change it, and yet love it enough to think it worth changing?” (Orthodoxy)

Ever since Vatican II, when Pope John XXIII’s fundamental impulse was to bring the Church up to date with the times (aggiornamento), the Church adopted what can rightly be called an ambivalent attitude towards the world—an attitude which has rarely been clarified or set right.

Can the Church both love and not love the world at the same time? Yes, but each in a different sense. The Church ought to conform herself, not to the world, but to Christ for the sanctification of the world.

Any suggestion or hint that the Church could possibly learn from the world in matters pertaining to the salvation of souls is not only unwise but thoroughly and grievously mistaken.

It was the Council’s compromise on this point, explicit or implicit, that introduced a basic disorientation into the heart of the Church, a festering wound that has spawned a multitude of errors and heterodox tendencies.

Saint Paul reminds us: “Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.” (Romans 12:2)

The basic orientation of the Church to the world will feed into everything: the Church’s faith, doctrines, moral teaching, pastoral practice—everything!

Pope Francis

Vatican II’s ambivalent embrace of the world is complicated even further by the advent of Pope Francis, who demonstrates, intentionally or unintentionally, a strong and consistent tendency to engage with heterodoxy.

The Bishops have a grave responsibility to remind Pope Francis what the First Vatican Council taught clearly and unequivocally:

“For the Holy Spirit was promised to the successors of Peter not so that they might, by his revelation, make known some new doctrine, but that, by his assistance, they might religiously guard and faithfully expound the revelation or deposit of faith transmitted by the Apostles.” (Session 4, Chapter 4, paragraph 6)

A Silent Spiritual Holocaust

For all the above reasons, what we are now witnessing is a silent, spiritual holocaust: the holocaust of multitudes of vulnerable and unsuspecting souls on the altar of the Bishops’ silent complicity with the world.

How many will survive?

The Lord declared: “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge. Because you have rejected knowledge, I will also reject you as My priests. Since you have forgotten the law of your God, I will also forget your children.” (Hosea 4:6)

Jesus said, “the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32) 

Christ came “neither to condemn us in our sins nor to condone our sins, but to save us from them”, as a faithful priest once said. Hell is real. Salvation is real. The Lord takes no pleasure in “the death of the wicked, but rather that they turn from their ways and live.” (Ezekiel 33:11)

These truths do not change with the passage of time.

A Call to the Bishops

Today in the midst of this crisis, as one crisis has been added to another and again to another, the Church has need of Bishops and priests who will be like the Apostles, their predecessors, who transformed the world by the witness of their word, and most often by the witness of their blood, the Holy Spirit working through them with great signs and wonders.

There is no challenge, obstacle, or difficulty that could prevent our shepherds from achieving what the twelve Apostles achieved.

Saint Paul testified, “For I am not ashamed of the Gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes.” (Romans 1:16)

The Gospel is “ever ancient and ever new”, the fruit of God’s Self-revelation in the Incarnation of Jesus Christ, the fount of eternal salvation.

“Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” (Hebrews 13:8) His message does not change with the changing times.

When proclaimed in its purity and entirety, the Gospel exerts a powerful attraction on the soul—because the soul hungers, consciously or unconsciously, for the word of the Lord, for the truth that will set it free, for the fruits of the Redemption which Christ paid for with His own Blood.

This is not to say that the Bishops are entirely missing in action. A few Cardinals and Bishops have been strongly vocal about the rights, duties, and needs of the Church. But the majority are still silent—so much so that recently Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò noted that such silence is ”deafening”.

When Peter and John were hauled before the council of priests and high priests they were commanded “not to speak or teach at all in the name of Jesus.” (Acts 4:18)

But Peter and John responded: “Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” (Acts 4:19)

What will the Bishops now say?

We need you, the successors of the Apostles, to rise to the occasion. The Lord is waiting for you. The Church is waiting for you. The world needs your unfailing witness to our Lord Jesus Christ.

LG Sleiman

Lastest revision: 2:00 pm, 7th November 2020. Sydney, Australia.

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