Regína sacratíssimi Rosárii, ora pro nobis!


Ave Maria!

Ascension Thursday—14 May AD 2015

Ascension of Our Lord Jesus Christ

Ordinary of the Mass
Mass Text - Latin
Mass Text - English

“Go ye into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”[1]

    Over a hundred years ago, on the birthday feast of our Lady, September 8, 1907, Pope Pius X, issued the encyclical Pascendi Dominici gregis, condemning the heresy called “modernism.”  The Holy Father identified this “modernism” as being “agnostic,” “immanentist,” and “evolutionist.”[2]  This can be reduced to saying that the modernist believes not in anything that he can’t touch and feel and experience in the material world; that the world is in a constant state of change and development;  and that all religious beliefs are mere sentiments, opinions, or aspirations, real only in the mind of the believer.

    At first, the Church was quite serious about keeping modernists out of positions where they could teach such errors—just about everyone in the hierarchy or in Catholic education was required to take an Oath Against Modernism, [3] and there were supposed to be diocesan “Councils of Vigilance” to root out any occurrences of modernism at the local level.[4]  But over the years the enthusiasm for “vigilance” wore thin, particularly in our morally lax culture, and modernism took a greater and greater hold on the Church.

    Modern philosophy denied the possibility of knowing the truth, “for every observer views the same thing from a slightly different background and point of view.”  The closest thing to truth was produced by “dialogue” about the thing in question, but that was okay because “everyone” was starting to believe in evolution and its constant change.  In recent years, modernists are beginning to believe that they can restructure reality itself, merely by agreeing upon a new reality.  Among some in the Church today, things that used to be sins are now to be celebrated!  They have become “politically correct.”[5]

    I mention this today because there is probably no better example of a Gospel that the modernists would consider politically incorrect.  The Apostles were to go everywhere, without exception.  They were to teach the Gospel without dialogue or discussion—Saint Matthew has: “Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you….”[6]  And the penalty for disbelief in that Gospel would be eternal condemnation.

    Jesus did not say: “teach all nations except the Jews because they have Moses and the Prophets.”  He did not make exception for the people of India and Tibet “because they have the Buddha.” He did not say: “teach all nations except the Arabs, because Mohammad will be along shortly.  He made no exceptions at all.  He said: “Go into the whole world, and preach the gospel to every creature.”[7]

    Jesus certainly did not say that there were a number of Gospels from which to choose!  At that point the Gospel was not written down and published in a book—it was simply “all things whatsoever” that Jesus had commanded.  Jesus, who was God, the Son of God, could teach nothing that wasn’t the embodiment of truth.

    Nor was the truth of Jesus Christ something that would change with the passing years:  “Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.”[8]  “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No man cometh to the Father, but by me.”[9]

    Can you believe the audacity of Jesus Christ?  Can you imagine how limited His career would be in the modernist Church?  “He that believes and is baptized, shall be saved: but he that believes not shall be condemned.[10]  How incredibly intolerant!!  How anti-ecumenical!!  Almost as insensitive as telling those various people to go and “sin no more”!!  Who did He think He was, telling people what they should do?  The answer is that He was the Son of God—Truth Incarnate.

    He was the Son of God, who proved His authority by His wisdom and His miracles.  He walked on water, turned it into wine, cured the sick, and raised the dead—including Himself!  And His ministers did “take up serpents; and drink deadly things, and did lay their hands upon the sick, and they did recover.”[11]  Those who question why such “flashy” miracles are rarely found today were answered centuries ago by Pope Gregory the Great:

    ...[miracles] were necessary in the beginning of the Church, for, in order that faith might grow, it required miracles to cherish it withal; just as when we plant shrubs, we water them until we see them thrive in the ground, and as soon as they are well rooted we cease our irrigation.[12]

    But even Pope Gregory was a little off in saying that—for the Church has never been entirely without miracles.  The biographies of the saints are filled with them.  Even in our own era we have miracles.  Thousands of cures have been reported at Lourdes (although the Church is extremely cautious about calling them miracles).  At Fatima, tens of thousands witnessed the miracle of the Sun, including one who described it in the anti-clerical Portuguese newspaper, O Século, among other accounts in secular journals.[13]  Padre Pio’s entire life was a miracle, and countless testimonials recount miracles worked through his intercession.[14]

    Yet, the greatest miracle is the Church itself.  It has had its share of saints and miracle workers, but it has also survived many sinners, heretics and opportunists—even in high positions.  Miraculously, the Church will survive modernism—for modernists are small men with muddled thinking, their minds clouded by their lusts.  The Church will survive modernism because Jesus Christ is not at all politically correct, and He has promised to be with us for “all days, even to the consummation of the world.”[15]



[1]   Gospel: Mark xvi: 14-20

[2]   Pope Saint Pius X, Pascendi Dominici gregis, para 34.

[4]   Pascendi Dominici gregis, para 55.

[5]   A Marxist term, coined by Lenin to describe the genetics of one Trofim Lysenko, which were formulated along party lines rather than scientific lines.

[12]   Gregory the Great, Homily on the Gospel of the Ascension (PL 76, Homily 29)







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