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An Eclipse of the Sun of Catholic Truth

Discussion in 'Church Critique' started by BrianK, Aug 21, 2017.

  1. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member


    An Eclipse of the Sun of Catholic Truth
    Steve Skojec August 21, 2017 One Comment
    2017 Solar Eclipse. Image courtesy of NASA Goddard Space Flight Center (CC)

    Today, I stood in my back yard and watched as the sun was obscured by the passing of the moon. Things felt strange. The birds stopped singing. My dog stopped barking at the things he usually would, and sat there with his ears perked up. The temperature dropped noticeably. The air was still. Everything was eerily quiet, and while I wasn’t in the path of a total eclipse, the sunlight was dimmed enough that shadows changed and everything took on a different, unsettling hue.

    I remarked to my wife that it felt like I was standing on an alien planet that only looked like Earth, but had a different solar arrangement.

    As I watched with wonder and curiosity, I found myself remembering something I was told some time ago.

    Early last year, feeling discouraged (as I sometimes do) by the situation in the Church, I reached out to a member of the clergy whom I greatly respect, seeking counsel. I had recently watched the pope’s video about “Care for Creation”, which I wrote about in an essay entitled, “Gaia Church: Love the Earth. Heaven Can Wait.”

    “With so much focus on the temporal, the immanent, the passable,” I said to this true servant of Our Lord, “I cannot help but wonder if our Holy Father even believes in God, or consequently, the need to help souls attain heaven. All is humanism. All is immanentism.”

    I mentioned the video. I also mentioned an interview Francis had given at the time about the situation in China. In it, he made not one mention of the suffering, imprisoned, or oppressed Catholics there. When asked about China’s slaughter of 400 million of it’s own children — often against the will of their parents — he referred to this only as a “mistake.” As though the Chinese had simply gotten their priorities out of order.

    “I know the unchangeable truths of the faith.” I said. “I believe in them. I hold to them. But this man, I truly believe, is a chastisement on the faithful. … God must be so very angry with us.”

    This alter Christus responded to me with compassion, agreeing that the situation with Pope Francis was quite sad. He said to me that this papacy presents a significant trial for our faith, as well as our supernatural view of the Church. But, he insisted, this is only happening by means of God’s mysterious permission. He advised me that the faithful should try not to take what Francis is saying and doing too seriously.

    “Let us in some way ignore this pontificate,” he said, “which represents an eclipse of the sun of Catholic truth. The eclipse is temporal and passes. Let us pray fervently for the salvation of the poor soul of pope Francis and at the same time for the miracle of the next conclave to give us a traditional pope. The darker it is getting in Rome, the brighter has to shine our faith and our love for Jesus. It is a challenge for our faith. Let us be in all humility soldiers and knights of Christ.”

    This image has stayed with me ever since.

    A solar eclipse obscures, it does not obliterate. As we know, it occurs when the moon — an object that generates no light of its own — passes in front of the sun — the source of all light in our solar system — allowing darkness to fall across the surface of the earth. It is merely the casting of a shadow, not the dying of the light.

    Today, standing in my yard, I found that I could see more clearly why this analogy is so appropriate for our present ecclesiastical situation.

    At the advent of today’s eclipse, many people were very excited. A few were concerned about what it might mean. Still, it seemed that it was all anyone could talk about. Websites, social media, TV & radio stations were all filled with chatter about this unique and once-in-a-lifetime event.

    At the moment of apex, everyone — even many who claimed not to care — found themselves looking out windows, standing on porches, pulling their cars over to the side of the road, or planted in their yards, trying to make sense of what they were witnessing. The experience, while fascinating, was also very uncanny. Things looked almost the same, but everything was cast in the same strange light. Like a parody of a normal day, with many of the important details missing.

    And then it was gone, and the light grew brighter, and the shadows slipped back into their normal places, and the warmth of the summer returned, and the people went back inside, back to school, back to work, back to the normalcy of life that did not come to a stop but was merely put on pause, just for that brief span of time. Just for the moment when things were perceptibly not as they should be.

    As analogies go, it isn’t really much of a stretch, is it?

    In the life of the Church, the eclipse we are now experiencing has lasted just four years, but it feels as though it has gone on for longer than many of us feel we can bear. What began as a cause of excitement for many has now gotten under their skin. The fascinating curiosity of the otherness of the event has given way to a nightmare that things will never again be the same.

    But we must remember: it is merely the casting of a shadow, not the dying of the light. And in our case, it is not a natural phenomenon, but rather a preternatural one. Put another way, our ecclesiastical eclipse is not the work of the moon; rather, it is the doing of other celestial creatures: “And his tail drew the third part of the stars of heaven, and cast them to the earth: and the dragon stood before the woman who was ready to be delivered; that, when she should be delivered, he might devour her son.” (Rev. 12:4)

    For in Christian symbolism, Christ is the sun and Mary the moon. Mary, who does not generate her own light, but so beautifully reflects the light of Christ into the darkness of our sin and ignorance. Mary, that perfect creature who never occludes the life-giving light of her Son. Her brilliance never wanes, but her presence never obscures; she stands beside Him in her fullness, and yet ever in submission. This imagery is captured beautifully in the following prayer of St. Bernard:

    O Blessed Queen! It is of thee prophet speaks when he says, “Who is she that riseth like the day-star, beautiful as the moon, brilliant as the sun?” Yes, thou didst appear in the world like the bright day-star, preceding by the light of thy sanctity the coming of the Sun of Justice. The day on which thou camest into the world may well be styled a day of salvation and a day of grace. Thou art beautiful as the moon; because as none of the celestial bodies so nearly resembles the sun as it does, so there is no creature whose perfections so nearly approach to those of God as thy own. The moon enlightens the night by reflecting the rays of the sun, and thou enlightenest our darkness by the splendor of those virtues with which God has adorned the. But thou art even more beautiful than the moon, because in thee is found neither spot nor shade; thou art brilliant like the sun; I mean that divine Sun who created the one which enlightens the earth, for, as He and His humanity is the most resplendent among men, so art thou the brightest among women.

    We should pray, then, that soon the light of Christ the Sun and Mary the moon will shine forth brightly to destroy this momentary darkness that now hides the beauty and splendor of Holy Mother Church.

    “Heaven and earth shall pass, but my words shall not pass.” – (Mt. 24:35)
    AED, sparrow, Blizzard and 2 others like this.
  2. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

    Another eclipse:


    Pope Francis: prioritise migrants' dignity over national security
    Publication of action plan for governments is response to what Vatican sees as one of biggest global challenges of 21st century
    Harriet SherwoodLast modified on Monday 21 August 2017 13.11 EDT
    Pope Francis has expressed concern for migrants and refugees. Photograph: Angelo Carconi/EPA
    Pope Francis has issued a 20-point action plan to governments on refugees and migrants to try to galvanise their response to an issue seen by the Vatican as one of the biggest global challenges of the 21st century.

    His intention is to lay the ground for the drafting of two global compacts on refugees and migration, which are expected to be adopted at the UN general assembly in September 2018.

    The roadmap was published on Monday by the Vatican’s migrants and refugees section, which was set up by Francis last year and operates under his direction. The action points were personally approved by the pontiff.

    In a message issued before publication, Francis said he had “repeatedly expressed my particular concern for the lamentable situation of many migrants and refugees fleeing from war, persecution, natural disasters and poverty”. The situation was “undoubtedly a ‘sign of the times’,” he said.

    The document, Responding to Refugees and Migrants: Twenty Action Points, says the world is facing “the largest movement of displaced people in recent memory”.

    It says: “While massive numbers of people have been forced to leave their homes due to persecution, violence, natural disasters and the scourge of poverty, migration should nevertheless be recognised, not as a new phenomenon, but rather as a natural human response to crisis and a testament to the innate desire of every human being for happiness and a better life.

    “This reality, with its important cultural and spiritual dimensions, is having a significant impact on attitudes and reactions all over the world.”

    The document’s 20 points are grouped in four calls to action: to welcome, to protect, to promote and to integrate. Their “ultimate goal is the building of an inclusive and sustainable common home for all”.

    Before detailing the action plan, the authors suggest that distinguishing between migrants and refugees, as the UN does in its separate compacts, is problematic.

    “Empirical evidence shows that migration is more and more mixed. This makes it difficult to maintain a clear-cut distinction between migrants and refugees. Often their needs are very similar if not identical,” the document says.

    Among its action points are the creation of legal pathways for safe and voluntary migration and resettlement, and a ban on arbitrary and collective expulsions. It suggests states make wider use of humanitarian, student and family reunification visas.

    The document says greater support should be available for countries that have borne the brunt of migration: more than half the world’s displaced people are in Africa and the Middle East, with 17% in Europe, according to the UN.

    In his message, Francis said personal safety and dignity should be prioritised over national security and, “for the sake of the fundamental dignity of every human person, we must strive to find alternative solutions to detention for those who enter a country without authorisation”.

    Francis has indicated that migration should be a major Vatican focus in the run-up to the 2018 UN general assembly. He has made the issue central to his papacy since visiting the Mediterranean island of Lampedusa, where thousands of migrants have landed, within weeks of his election. He has also housed several Syrian refugee families in the Vatican.

    Graham Gordon, of the Catholic aid agency Cafod, said: “The Holy Father is making clear that all countries must step up to the plate and pull their weight.

    “This is one of the greatest crises of the century so far. Not for the first time, the pope is reminding politicians that history will judge whether they rise to the challenge or abdicate their responsibility.”

    Matteo Salvini, the leader of Italy’s anti-immigrant Northern League party, wrote on Facebook: “If you want to do it in the Vatican, go ahead. But as a Catholic, I don’t think Italy can welcome and support the whole world.”
  3. Fatima

    Fatima Powers

    I recall decades ago, Pope John Paul saying that countries have a right to their sovereignty. So which is it?
  4. Katfalls

    Katfalls Archangels

    not full coverage in the UP of Michigan but a noticeable difference. It was fun seeing the eclipse!

    Attached Files:

    AED and Don_D like this.
  5. gracia

    gracia Angels

    Forgive me if this sounds racist..... I live with a large community of Muslim refugees. Many are awesome, dear folks, but there is an undeniable trend among many of their young men to be brazen thieves, harassers of women, crude, pushy, to gang up on non-Muslims when they want something, and then to accuse anyone outwardly offended by their behavior of being "racist". One gang of young men in particular is especially disgusting and lewd.

    I wonder what gives these guys the right to carry on this way. Yes, there was a war, and it was terrible. That does not excuse anti-social, horrendous manners. That does not mean that I let you proposition me in my work place and say nothing back to you because your uncle survived a war. I don't care. Have some decency. I wish these guys were not in my city.

    Welcoming some families is compassionate and reasonable. But the social ills that result when young Muslim men are a majority, even in a city block, are undeniable. It's not a race issue; it's a spiritual one. But we also have a right to feel safe, and not harassed. Is Pope Francis going to personally compensate victims of the rape, sexual abuse, theft, persecution, and violence unleashed by many of these "refugees"?
    AED, Heidi, Tanker and 1 other person like this.
  6. sparrow

    sparrow Archangels

    Beautiful post BrianK - your priest is very eloquent and dedicated :)
    gracia likes this.
  7. Mac

    Mac "To Jesus, through Mary"

    Our Lady spoke of a time the church would be in eclipse.What follows doesn't sound great.

    “The Church will be in eclipse, the world will be in dismay. But now Enoch and Eli will come, filled with the Spirit of God. They will preach with the might of God, and men of good will will believe in God, and many souls will be comforted. They will make great steps forward through the virtue of the Holy Spirit and will condemn the devilish lapses of the Antichrist. Woe to the inhabitants of the earth! There will be bloody wars and famines, plagues and infectious diseases. It will rain with a fearful hail of animals. There will be thunderstorms which will shake cities, earthquakes which will swallow up countries. Voices will be heard in the air. Men will beat their heads against walls, call for their death, and on another side death will be their torment. Blood will flow on all sides. Who will be the victor if God does not shorten the length of the test? All the blood, the tears and prayers of the righteous, God will relent. Enoch and Eli will be put to death. Pagan Rome will disappear. The fire of Heaven will fall and consume three cities. All the universe will be struck with terror and many will let themselves be lead astray because they have not worshipped the true Christ who lives among them. It is time; the sun is darkening; only faith will survive.
  8. Dolours

    Dolours Powers

    You have much to look forward to. See this from the British left wing newspaper, the Indedpendent, and read the comments to see how even their readers are waking up to reality. The driver of the van has since been shot dead by the Catalan police. The terrorist's parents are at least relieved that their good, normal son who wouldn't harm a fly is now in a better place. http://www.independent.co.uk/news/w...s-satty-madrid-bombings-belgium-a7903966.html

    Needless to say, the politicians in Spain, and in Finland following the terrorist attack there, are making brave pronouncements about not being afraid. If they say it often enough they might convince themselves and they have personal security to insure their bravery.
    HeavenlyHosts, AED and gracia like this.
  9. Mario

    Mario Powers

    "The darker it is getting in Rome, the brighter has to shine our faith and our love for Jesus. It is a challenge for our faith. Let us be in all humility soldiers and knights of Christ.”


    Safe in the Barque of Peter!
    Mary's child, Don_D and Dolours like this.
  10. BrianK

    BrianK Resident Kook, Crank, Curmudgeon - & Mod Staff Member

    Thanks Sparrow, but I haven't written for 1Peter5 since last summer/fall. This is from Steve Skojec.
    sparrow likes this.
  11. gracia

    gracia Angels

    I know this junk is right around the bend for America, too. It's here, just not in the media. But when you have to worry about gangs of abusive Muslim boys harassing you at work (kids half your age, who could be your sons), and can't complain about it as 50% of the people you work with are Muslims, too, it's already here. It's irritating, but real. Welcome to Dhimmistan. Population, us.
    AED and Mary's child like this.
  12. sparrow

    sparrow Archangels

    Many incidences here in Canada go unreported also.. and you see Trudeau inviting all Muslims here with open arms and many are crossing from the US because of Trump. We have many in our Parliament already and even our Immigration Minister is Muslim so we shall reach a 'caliphate' stage in no time. Not that all Muslims are radical but if there are so many that are and will come invited? Yes, we will be there in no time. :unsure:
    gracia, AED and Mary's child like this.
  13. AED

    AED Powers

    Mary Immaculate come soon to crush the head of the serpent! (Today is her feast for the Immaculate Heart in the old calendar)

    How is your daughter? Had the baby come yet. Still praying for her.
    sparrow likes this.
  14. AED

    AED Powers

    Thank you for posting this.
    gracia likes this.
  15. sparrow

    sparrow Archangels

    Today is the Queenship of Mary here in Canada :)
    My daughter was actually due today. We were at the doctor earlier and they said she is ready and if not gone into labour by Friday they will induce her. Hoping she doesn't have to do that and she is having some pains but not regular contractions yet. Should be soon! Thank you so much AED (and anyone else) for your prayers! I now have a blessed miracle cloth of St. Gerard and a special prayer to say to protect mother and baby.. just waiting on delivery! :D
    AED, Katfalls and gracia like this.

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