Category Archives: St. Paul

Divining Revelation: The Christian Response to Authority

Today after praying prior to the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, having a Bible in the pew book rack before me, I prayed the Lord to guide my fingers to a good place in that Bible in order to instruct me on what His Will is today.  Of course, I was seeking His guidance for me personally, not for anyone else.

I sat back in the pew, grabbed the Bible, sort of let my thumb grab a random spot on the pages, opened, and looked down at this, the first heading I saw:

Obedience to Authority

Here is what St. Paul had to say in his Letter to the Romans on Obedience to Authority:

Let every person be subject to the governing authorities; for there is no authority except from God, and those authorities that exist have been instituted by God.  Therefore whoever resists authority resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment.  For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Do you wish to have no fear of the authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive its approval;  for it is God’s servant for your good. But if you do what is wrong, you should be afraid, for the authority[a] does not bear the sword in vain! It is the servant of God to execute wrath on the wrongdoer.  Therefore one must be subject, not only because of wrath but also because of conscience.  For the same reason you also pay taxes, for the authorities are God’s servants, busy with this very thing.  Pay to all what is due them—taxes to whom taxes are due, revenue to whom revenue is due, respect to whom respect is due, honor to whom honor is due. [Romans 13:1-7 NRSVCE]

Oh yes!  It’s About the Impeachment of Pres. Donald Trump!

Turmp and ChristThe first thing which came to mind was the Impeachment of President Trump, that the good Lord is *with* President Trump, his appointed authority, and not with the politicians who do injustice by twisting contexts and implying what is not true because their real intention is simply to dismiss the 2016 Presidential Elections by Act of Congress and to interfere in the 2020 Presidential Elections…because they would rather have won.  We could say that many of the opponents of President Donald Trump work for their spiritual father, Satan, the “Father of Lies.”

Is President Trump hard to like?  Well, yes, he can be coarse and misunderstood by the unforgiving and proud soul.  Is President Trump easy to like?  Yes, he can certainly be liked when one agrees to his truly good intentions and deeds.  The Scripture says, “Then do what is good and you will receive its approval…do what is wrong and you should be afraid, for the authority does not bear the sword in vain!”  His opponents have almost never done what is good and just toward President Trump; they have egged him on – provoked him – set his own people against him, and so on.  They have been unrelenting in what appears to me to be criminal bullying to a high degree.

I fully expect Pres. Trump to be exonerated and for some Members of Congress to be investigated and maybe even politically punished for their outrageous conduct toward President Trump.  If he is convicted, then I expect God to make Pres. Trump into the Great Swamp Plug which, when pulled, exposes many, many improprieties leading to many more investigations of Elected Members, past and present.

Ah, But Maybe It’s About Me and My Parish Leadership?

Now, in this sitting, I have also considered another context:  my own.  If the reader will go back a few posts, there is a post I made about the slothful servant.  I have been very angry about the conduct of some of my parish leadership and staff over a period of several years for various valid reasons.  When the straw finally broke under constant strain of serial disappointments (which I have tried to explain tactfully to leadership but with sometimes uncaring, arrogant and rude responses – except for responses from one good priest), I and my wife have simply decided to dramatically reduce our annual giving (aside from our promise for the Capital Campaign, all of which we paid fully and in advance for the good of those after us who will benefit from better facilities), resign from parish ministries, and begin attending another parish.  Recently, we even halved our lowered monthly donation to our assigned parish and began giving half to the other parish which we are routinely attending now.

For me, it is a sincere act of justice.  Am I being disobedient?  I don’t think so.  I feel like I am serving the Lord in helping to wake up a slothful staff to their condition which really needs improvement.  Is this hard on us?  Yes, we are disconnected now while we wait to move to another State in the next year or two – that will be like The Promised Land for us.  I will continue to think it over and pray about it, but my conscience is clear.

And The Last Pastor Resigned for Cause

Something which has caused me to lose confidence in our clerical leadership is that the previous pastor before the current one, after my wife and I had developed a years-long good relationship of trust with him, resigned because of an unreported and uninvestigated sexual impropriety he had years earlier.  OF his own volition, he admitted his mistake and then just up and quit, and no one saw it coming.  We had a great relationship with him and both my and my wife’s ministry involvement slowly increased under his good stewardship.

So What Is It?  Trump or Me?

It could be both because there is a Principle here.  But, Trump’s destiny is being decided right now while the world watches, and mark my word:  God is watching, too!

 

Evidence of the Church’s Ultimate Trial

St. Paul teaches about the Church’s ultimate trial before the Second Coming in his 2nd Letter to the Thessalonians, Chapter 2. St. Paul writes:

1 As to the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ and our being gathered together to him, we beg you, brothers and sisters, 2 not to be quickly shaken in mind or alarmed, either by spirit or by word or by letter, as though from us, to the effect that the day of the Lord is already here. 3 Let no one deceive you in any way; for that day will not come unless the rebellion comes first and the lawless one is revealed, the one destined for destruction. 4 He opposes and exalts himself above every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, declaring himself to be God. 5 Do you not remember that I told you these things when I was still with you? 6 And you know what is now restraining him, so that he may be revealed when his time comes. 7 For the mystery of lawlessness [iniquity] is already at work, but only until the one who now restrains it is removed. 8 And then the lawless one will be revealed, whom the Lord Jesus will destroy with the breath of his mouth, annihilating him by the manifestation of his coming. 9 The coming of the lawless one is apparent in the working of Satan, who uses all power, signs, lying wonders, 10 and every kind of wicked deception for those who are perishing, because they refused to love the truth and so be saved. 11 For this reason God sends them a powerful delusion, leading them to believe what is false, 12 so that all who have not believed the truth but took pleasure in unrighteousness will be condemned.

The Catechism of the Catholic Church teaches further:

675 Before Christ’s second coming the Church must pass through a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers. The persecution that accompanies her pilgrimage on earth will unveil the “mystery of iniquity” in the form of a religious deception offering men an apparent solution to their problems at the price of apostasy from the truth. The supreme religious deception is that of the Antichrist, a pseudo-messianism by which man glorifies himself in place of God and of his Messiah come in the flesh.

EVIDENCE OF DELUSION – SUMORRUM PONTIFICUM, RESIGNATION OF ITS AUTHOR

We see that occurring under the moto proprio, Summorum Pontificum (SP), and the groups of people who, blind already to Jesus in the Eucharist within the God-willed Novus Ordo Mass, seek out the fashions of the Extraordinary Form in order to be nurtured by the form and culture, not by Jesus Christ. It’s very revealing. SP was meant to be a solution for SSPX and their adherents- a cause of unity. However, it is precisely a cause of disunity (and a tax on limited priestly resources) and a complete reversal of the will of God expressed through Vatican II and Sacrosanctum Concilium. Pope Benedict XVI was deluded in this action. He has since been resigned, in good health, by God.

As has been expressed before in another forum, the action called by the moto proprio, SP, if enacted during the time of King Solomon and his successors, would have been like telling the People to vacate the Temple (a unifying structure which drew Jews and Gentiles alike) and move God’s throne back to the primitive Tabernacle of canvas and tent poles with only the twelve tribes on its periphery.

But here’s the catch – the great delusion: God is still in the Temple (His missioned Church according to His wishes as outlined in Vatican II Ecumenical Council), and those who refused to believe in and be satisfied by His Real Presence there, above all else, are now in the old Tabernacle (the Church He set out to reform) in direct violation of God’s wishes as expressed under Vatican II and Sacrosanctum Concilium, worshipping form and scenery and fashion and self-aggrandizing music, but not God; turning inward to the old ways but not blooming outward in a way appealing to the lost sheep and God’s appointed mission.

For, if they believed in God and listened to and adhered to His call to unity and to evangelize the world and make conditions for bringing all back into the Church, they would not have left the Temple in search of “not-God.” If they heard His voice and followed it, they would have embraced Vatican II enthusiastically and with the knowledge that by obeying God’s will, we are loving God as best we can.

When Jesus comes to judge, who will he condemn? Those who have faith and a spirit of obedience or those who have doubt and a spirit of disobedience?

When We Die, the Spiritual Life Takes Over

 

As if gazing through a mirror: St. Paul the Apostle

 
 I was trying yesterday to express my experience in Mass when I was praying the Angelus at noon, but my experience with Mother Mary led me in another direction.  What I remember now, the insight which came to me all of a sudden – yet simpler than I will express here – is the message that I needed to relay:  

 When we die, it is as if we fall asleep and then awaken to a new reality – the reality of our everlasting spiritual life which subsists and is hidden within our mortal life.  In our mortal lives, we “see” spiritual things as if looking at objects in a hazy mirror – indirectly, unclear and subject to interruption – just beyond our grasp.  But after we have fallen asleep, we shall awaken to a bright and refreshing change of venue where all things will be clearly manifested as they really are.

As St. Paul instructs:

At present we see indistinctly, as in a mirror, but then face to face. At present I know partially; then I shall know fully, as I am fully known. [1st Cor, 13:12, NAB Holy Bible]

So, let us trust in God and His Plan.