For All of This His Hand is Stretched Out Still
This is the 37th anniversary of the day our Lord Jesus revealed Himself to me in my own sinful life in no uncertain terms. I mention this not for any reason but to point out that we all are in desperate need of a savior, and the One God sends us is anxious to reveal Himself in our lives when we finally reach that point where pride and ego break down, and it is revealed in us that our own person is woefully inadequate, totally insufficient, and completely unable to do anything but wallow in his own spiritual excrement.
As homo sapiens, we are small minded, small hearted creatures who find it easy to condemn others for their human flaws while blissfully ignoring our own. To be sure, much of why we do this is to satisfy the great need and desire we have for self justification. If I can look at another man and declare myself intellectually, emotionally, morally, ethically, racially, legally and/or (and especially) spiritually superior, then my own self worth rises at the expense of his, and his plummets to unimagined depths -- depths unimagined because my callous heart ceases to care. I elevate myself to glory in the act of condemning my neighbor to hell. This is the human condition. This is the outcome of the original sin that took the form of the betrayal of God's grace in Eden, and which resulted in the original act of self justification wherein Cain cast the first stone and thus slew Abel.
By New Testament times, this had become the heart and soul of Pharisaism. Precisely what the Lord condemned in them is this penchant towards self justification and self proclaimed superiority, claimed under the law of God, and which raised the Torah up as supreme over God's greatest and most benevolent law, which is Divine Mercy. God's mercy supersedes the law (which is the truth at the heart of St. Paul's teaching) and subversion of this mercy leads to perversion of this law. This is diabolic, in that it leads men to push God from the throne of mercy (the mercy seat, as this is called in the Old Testament) so as to climb upon His throne and transform it into the chair of condemnation: the throne of men. The judgment seat. And we must be fair and admit that there have been those times when the Chair of Peter has been laid claim to by those likewise diabolically inspired, who have behaved in similar fashion. Jesus is using no metaphor but speaks quite literally when He refers to "your father the devil" in addressing the spiritual orientation of these same Pharisees (and those of latter times and like inclination) in John 8: 35-48. And the truth of this is demonstrated in no uncertain terms in the ease with which they collaborate with the pagan Romans in condemning Him to the Cross. And this collaboration with worldly powers in the condemnation of Christ is a phenomenon that has persisted sporadically through Church history, and into these cynical times of ours -- it is, indeed, that which now brings us to the brink of God's chastisement.
The Cross is wondrous not only as the instrument of our salvation, but also in this way in which it demonstrates our deep need for it. The Cross condemns the world at the same time at which it makes possible the eternal salvation of individual souls out of it. It separates the sheep from the goats in that it brings humanity down to two choices and two choices only: to choose the Cross as did the crowd at the Praetorium by pointing to the Divine Mercy of God and shouting, "Crucify him!" Or by embracing the Cross as did Christ in His mercy for us and so be crucified with Him as St. Paul so instructs (see Romans 6:6). There is no middle ground in this. There is no other option. There is no alternative.
To lift the Torah up in condemnation of Christ is to place God's Divine Mercy in the hands of the Roman Emperor. It is to deny the kingship of Christ and claim we have no king but Caesar. To thus embrace the nationhood of men is to shout the name, "Barabbas!" and claim him as champion. Barabbas the killer, the thief, the revolutionary, the zealot; the heir to Cain and the symbol of man's self justification by the lance and the sword: the same self justification that in postmodern times is won by the neo-slaughter of the innocents through abortion, the control of the masses by the inducing of famine, the destruction of the biosphere through unbridled industrialization, the scourging of contrived enemies via drones and robotics, the eradication of undesirables by the loosing of pathogens, and the ungodly specter of mass genocide via the unleashed nuclear device. And so we teeter on the precipice of history with such ugly and ungodly chickens as these about to come home to roost.
To choose Barabbas is to cheer the Roman Eagle that scourges Christ and nails Him to the Cross. It is to raise the hammer and sickle and hail Lenin and Stalin and Mao; to raise the right hand in heil to Hitler and the swastika; to proclaim Barack Obama the latest messiah in the order of Barabbas, while saluting the stars and stripes with teary-eyed affection. One could go on and on, but the point is thus clearly made that to choose Barabbas is to choose the world and worldly over Christ. It is to endorse the conviction of Emmanuel -- God with us -- by His own statutes in the courtroom of the Temple. And this removes us also from the jurisdiction of His law, for to thus convict Him, and then condemn Him in the courtyard of the pagans, condemns us to this rule of men as well. This rule of men, as envisioned in the New World Order of a godless United Nations, is merely the ancient pagan and unholy Roman Empire, resurrected from the dust and ashes of history, and retrofitted with the tools of postmodern mass destruction. It has been conjured from the depths of hell, and raised up in our midst by the enemies of the Church, so as to crush the failed and Christian Holy Roman Empire, and enslave the world once more. And as this slavery rises in the less developed world, we witness the disciples of Christ again subjected to a martyr's death amidst the ecstatic cheers rising from what is now a global coliseum. And we in less violent climes merely delude ourselves when we deny that this death knell does not also toll for us.
This is the world we live in. It is a world that denies the kingship of God and demands Saul. It is a world that shakes its fist at heaven and shouts, "We have no king but Caesar!" And it does this as it crosses the Rubicon to embrace the death of the republic, and cheer the rise of the imperial and totalitarian nation state. It is a world that denies the power of the Church in world affairs and shouts, "Viva la France!" to the secularism of Bonaparte. It is a world that celebrates the deism of Jefferson that pushes God out of the affairs of men and seeks to lock Him in the tower of a clockwork universe. It is a world that proclaims the atheistic and drunken Marx a genius and demands that the streets run red with the blood of his revolution. It is a world that clamors for the hopeless "change" of Obama, and a thousand other false messiahs, and it does this in the face of the One True Christ: the One Who stands risen from the dead and claims the kingship of the earth, and the whole universe, upon the throne of heaven. And the hubris of those of this world is such that they stand yet in the artificial light of Lucifer, and with their father the devil laughing with delight from the shadows, point to the risen and divinely empowered Christ, and cry out once more to the rulers of this world, "Crucify him! Crucify him!"
Through human greed and arrogance, pride and corruption, egotism and downright evil, the earth has been raped as Lilith and impregnated with the demon spawn of impending disaster. Like the vast and fertile egg mass of an insect queen, these catastrophes are poised to hatch into the plagues that bring the ultimate death and carnage inherent in the destruction of the planet. This is the doomed world that looms just ahead of us now on the near horizon of the future. And in the midst of this, there is a godless elite who put the blame upon us: those that they view as the unwashed and unworthy masses of the poor, as they seek to siphon and drain from us every last drop of what we have before casting us as dry leaves into the purging fires of an impending holocaust. So we have prayed for solidarity with the poor and so we have it! This they do so as to cleanse the earth of all but these, our self proclaimed betters, who believe they deserve the entire planet because they have stolen the wealth with which to buy it. They believe themselves to be as the gods of old with knowledge beyond the scope of we mere mortals, and with the power to transform the earth into a utopian plantation, populated only by themselves, and those few of us they need as slaves to work it. And in this self created paradise, they believe in a mad science which can merge technology into singularity with the soul, and so make eternity without the God they deny possible for them once we, the rabble souls, are eliminated. And the testimony to their vast ability to live this lie is found in the propaganda of a global politic that convinces the world, so slated for the wrecking ball of their impending new development, to support and cater to their every whim in order that we might yet somehow "save the planet." And, in reality, what they do is lead the lowly and huddled masses in their unholy and more urgent chant of self justification, "Barabbas! Barabbas! Give us now Barabbas!"
The Wrath of God looms on this near horizon now, and is only temporarily abated. As if the threat of our own vast and evil ability to wreak havoc and destruction upon the world is not enough, we are, on a daily basis, confronted with meteors that explode within the atmosphere of earth, and asteroids and planetoids that whiz by in demonstration of the ease with which God's judgment may one day soon be upon us. It is as Isaiah tells us in chapter 5 and verse 25: "Therefore the anger of the LORD was kindled against his people, and he stretched out his hand against them and smote them, and the mountains quaked; and their corpses were as refuse in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away and his hand is stretched out still."
Who could still this outstretched hand of God and grant us this last brief reprieve from the fate the world so richly deserves? What force in the universe could be so powerful as to stay the hand of God raised up to strike, and love the world and her people in such a way so as to affect this stay of execution? As Catholics, we do not have far to look to recognize the hand of our own Blessed Mother and the Mother of God herself in this. The evidence is everywhere that she has interceded for all of us, for the whole world, and even God cannot resist the pleas of His own Mother. And while the evidence is everywhere, and there are many, a veritable multitude, who claim to hear her voice daily in the Holy Rosary, and who claim to know her in this most intimate way of private revelation, it is as she revealed herself to the children of Fatima in 1917, and proclaimed through them the message of repentance and consecration of the world (and specifically Russia) to her Immaculate Heart, that she has made herself most widely known. And this is no mere private revelation but is proclaimed authentic by the Catholic Church for the enlightenment and edification of not just Catholics, but the whole world she is calling to repentance and to know Jesus through her. And so in our time the Ave has taken on a new significance and more urgent meaning, as we pray, "Hail Mary Full of Grace, the Lord is with thee. Blessed art thou among women and blessed is the fruit of thy womb, Jesus. Holy Mary, Mother of God, pray for us sinners now and at the hour of our death. Amen." And so at Fatima, with this hour of our death and judgment drawing ever nearer, she taught us to pray, "O my Jesus, forgive us our sins, save us from the fires of hell, and lead all souls to heaven, especially those in most need of Thy mercy."
And what of Jesus? Has He deserted us in this, the hour of our greatest need? No! Of course not! He has always, and in every way, made good His promise to be with us until the end of the age, and reveals Himself, and communicates with us, in the glory of His Real Presence in the Church He left behind on earth for this very purpose. He invites us to commune with Him in the deepest and most profound of ways in the ongoing daily miracle of the Catholic Mass, and He loves nothing more than for us to visit Him and sit quietly as He speaks directly to our hearts in the Adoration of the Blessed Sacrament. And He, too, has entered into our larger world with a profound message for these last days in the revelation of Himself as the Divine Mercy of God to St. Faustina Kowalska in 1937. And we should be most grateful to our late Holy Father, John Paul II, for making the Church, and in turn the world, aware of His ongoing Presence in our world as Emmanuel: the Divine Mercy of God with us in the Holy Eucharist, and as King of kings and Lord of lords in the world that is to emerge phoenix-like, and forever, from the ashes of this present one. And so we pray and beg for mercy as He has taught us as our days grow ever shorter, "Eternal Father, I offer you the Body and Blood, Soul and Divinity of Your Dearly Beloved Son, Our Lord, Jesus Christ, in atonement for our sins and those of the whole world. For the sake of His sorrowful Passion, have mercy on us and on the whole world."
Many are those who stand and point at the Catholic Church and make the claim that what ails our world is what she believes. What ails our world most is those within the Catholic Church who don't believe what she believes. Rumors abound and have for years (if not centuries in some instances), that whisper of corruption in the curia, graft and financial malfeasance in the Vatican Bank, infiltration by Communists and Freemasons, and even the enthronement of Satan himself within the Vatican. We come from a history of dirty popes and anti-popes, greed and scandal, violence and apostasy. One would have to be both naive and blind to believe that public humiliations and scandals such as clergy sexual abuse, and the numerous ways in which modernism and unbelief have driven the Church into the ways of the fallen secular world, could represent anything other than the tip of a very large and dirty iceberg that floats within the vast and polluted seas of a corrupted earth.
Yet in spite of this, and perhaps more so even because of it, Our Lord and Our Lady continue to reveal the truth of the faith in the midst of our world and, in doing so, they offer this one last glimmer of hope that we may yet be able to stave off the vast destruction that looms and consecrate the nations of this planet to the Immaculate Heart of Mary and win the world, once and for all, to the Sacred Heart of Jesus Christ. For this to succeed, the Church herself must first be exorcised and cleansed of the money changers and evil doers who have turned our Father's house once more into a den of thieves. And we pray for our Holy Father, Pope Francis, that he may succeed in ridding the Church of this corruption, where our previous Holy Father, Pope Benedict, has admittedly failed. And we pray, in turn, for the eternal souls of both of these men that they are indeed faithful to this task and not merely a party to the disconcerting rumors we have heard. And beyond this, it is the Church thus purified that must stand up in the world, and up to the world, and prevail against even the gates of hell itself, in demanding her King of kings and Lord of lords be recognized as the rightful and righteous sovereign ruler of the earth. There is no compromise at the Cross, there is no negotiation with the devil, and for the world to be saved, what is required of us is to save the Church on earth (as she so saves us), that she may more truly reflect the one above in heaven.
We are all in desperate need of a savior, and the One God sends us is anxious to reveal Himself in our lives when we finally reach that point where pride and ego breakdown, and it is revealed in us that our own person is woefully inadequate, totally insufficient, and completely unable to do anything but wallow in his own spiritual excrement. This is true not only of each of us as individuals, but of the worldly institutions of the Church and the world itself as well. As long as we have breath we must urgently and continually acknowledge our sins, both individually and collectively, and with earnest and humble hearts, pray together for God's mercy. And we must do this now, before it is too late.
"For all this his anger is not turned away and his hand is stretched out still."
Kyrie eleison. Christe eleison. Kyrie eleison.
Phil is the owner of the news portal Radio New Jerusalem.
All Biblical quotes from The Catholic Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1965, 1966 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.