By: Tony Capobianco
Driven by the depraved demons of the air, the wind howls as a thousand banshees. The towering, tumultuous waves thunder and roar as they incessantly barrage the great ship with the enormous weight of all of the seas. The sun, the moon, and the stars are seemingly enveloped by the thick tenebrous clouds. The torrential rain pours forth from the sky as the wind whips the raindrops into blinding sheets which cover and inundate everything, thereby reducing visibility to naught. Gigantic damaging hail is cast upon the inhabitants of the earth as innumerable mortars. Boats, many of which pridefully claimed to be unsinkable, are being destroyed and then swallowed by the hungry ocean. What a sorrowful scene to behold as so many men perish in this dreadful storm. A great majestic ship is seen on the horizon, it’s the Barque of St. Peter and it is taking on water as it is tossed to and fro by the assaults of the angry storm as it appears to be in the gravest of dangers and yet it still remains afloat. Without the eyes of Faith, the Barque of St. Peter looks to be totally helpless and hopeless against such a monstrous storm and doomed to be devoured by the Great Serpent of the Abyss. The enemies of the Church are emboldened and inebriated with a diabolically sick, twisted, and perverse ecstasy as they look upon the perilous plight of the Barque of St. Peter. The wicked denizens of the City of Man deeply desire the utter destruction of the Ark of the Church and the City of God.
All rational creatures realize that this is no ordinary storm. This is an historic storm. This is a storm of the ages. Catastrophic category 5 hurricanes, EF5 tornadoes, magnitude 10.0 earthquakes, massive tsunamis, wars, and stars falling from the sky are but some of the foreboding signs which accompany this raging storm. The menacing darkness, power, and desolation wrought by this unprecedented storm incites the sinister fog of diabolical disorientation. Confusion and lawlessness abound as the Evil One attempts to sow fear and despair into the hearts of all men. Through human means, can any man or ship survive such an apocalyptic tempest? When the sun, stars, and moon are eclipsed, how can one see the light amidst such darkness? How can one safely navigate without light? How can one hope to arrive at his desired destination when the storm has apparently blinded him? How can one help others through the storm if he himself is perishing?
To survive this cataclysmic storm by relying on one’s own intellect, will, and strength is an impossibility. No, natural means alone will not save you. Human ingenuity will not dissipate this storm. Just as no human person can save himself from original sin and mortal sin, neither can a wicked generation save themselves from the consequences of their wickedness. Unrepentant sins call forth the wrath of the Almighty God as He wields His sword of justice. If sinful man refuses to seeks the Lord’s mercy with a contrite heart then he has instead chosen to be sentenced by the Just Judge. The Lord Jesus Christ, through His sacrifice on the Holy Cross, definitively vanquished sin, death, and the Devil. So too does this present crisis require a supernatural solution. The supernatural in the Catholic sense, means something that is above nature and creatures, namely it is pertaining exclusively to God.
When Pope John XXIII opened the Second Vatican Council, he notoriously said that it was time for the Church to, "open the windows and let in the fresh air." However well intentioned the Pope may have been, the results of “opening the windows”, nevertheless left the Church vulnerable to the assaults and schemes of all of Her enemies. Instead of fresh air entering the Church, it was the spirit of the world which blew through the opened windows and doors while attempting to uproot two thousand years of Sacred Tradition while also calling in to question the Church’s understanding of Sacred Scripture. The spirit of the world and the heresy of Modernism planted the poisonous seeds of doubt. Churchmen sought to make the Church more relevant to modern man and simultaneously many clerics began seeking human solutions for an apostate world in crisis. Apostasy is the complete rejection of the Faith. Therefore the genesis of this terrible storm is due to a crisis in Faith, a crisis that has been centuries in the making. This crisis of Faith did not originate in the Second Vatican Council. In 1517 Martin Luther initiated the revolution against the pillars of Christendom and he caused many souls to doubt the One True Faith. Two hundred years later, in 1717 the anti-Catholic Freemasons were formed.
Sorrowfully when the windows of the Church were opened up, it appears as though many shepherds and laymen alike were converted by the spirit of the world, rather than converting the world to Christ and His Church. The best of intentions can lead to disastrous consequences. Doubt crept into the hearts and minds of a great number of members of the human element of the Church. Where there is doubt, there is confusion and when the faithful are confused there is a crisis in Faith. Consequently when there is a crisis in Faith, a crisis in the world follows. Many Bishops sought to befriend the modern world rather than acting as spiritual Fathers as is their Sacred duty. When fathers are negligent, the children often become unruly and confused. On a global level, this tends to lead towards lawlessness.
The secular world has revolted and willingly separated itself from God. Whole nations have chosen to abandon the City of God in favor of joining the City of Man. In a recent and remarkable address given at The Rome Life Forum which was covered by LifeSiteNews, Bishop Athanasius Schneider has this to say about the sinister City of Man,
The past century was filled with the rotten fruit produced by the godless City of Man. The City of Man wishes to have a global human family without the Fatherhood of God. This wicked city, which is now most of the modern world, desires to create a man made paradise here on earth. It arrogantly believes that it can evolve into a pseudo Garden of Eden in which man places himself in the place of God, acting as if he were God. This prideful and disordered thinking led to the atrocities of the past century. The Nazis and the Communists both committed abominable mass genocides in their deluded quests to refashion the world in their image, a supposed human utopia. Far from achieving an earthly paradise, these madmen unleashed Hell on earth in a realm of nightmares, suffering, and tears.
The City of Man has overthrown what was once Christendom. How can we survive the dangerous assaults of the City of Man amidst the raging storm of the enemy? How can we help provide true peace for the world? Well, if we desire peace for the world, we must first receive peace for ourselves. In a crucially important conference given by Fr. Chad Ripperger on the Three Theological Virtues, Father has this to say about Faith and the tranquility of order:
The Three Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity are absolutely necessary and fundamental if we wish to survive this great crisis. The Three Theological Virtues are virtues which are infused into our souls by God. As such, they are supernatural gifts which will help us survive the raging storm. The Theological Virtue of Faith enables us to know that only God can fill the void within us and make us happy. Faith allows us to accept all that God has revealed as true. It is only when we know what the truth is, that we are able with the grace of God to rightly order our faculties and our lives. When our lives are properly ordered to God and for God, with God at the center, it is then and only then that we can have the peace of Christ. The Theological Virtue of Faith is absolutely necessary for man on both an individual level and a macro or societal level if he wishes to have authentic and true peace. True peace, that is peace as it is given by Christ the King, is totally dependent on conversion and the infusion of the Three Theological Virtues. It is for this reason that false ecumenism is doomed to fail. False ecumenism applies a human solution to a spiritual problem. False ecumenism foolishly attempts to create an earthly pseudo peace and pseudo unity which preaches coexistence with various errors. It presupposes that both individual peace and societal peace can be gained through human dialogue, diplomacy, intelligence, tolerance, and collegiality. This therefore implies that peace can be attained through the power or faculty of man’s will and independent of the Faith. The pseudo peace offered by false ecumenism stands in contrast with the revelation given by Almighty God through the Sacred Deposit of Faith. Divine Revelation clearly teaches that there can be no peace without Christ. If a man desires peace, then he must make Christ His King. If human society desires peace, then it too must make Christ its King.
The Theological Virtue of Faith blesses us with the eyes of Faith. This is the reason that we are able to look at the monstrous storm as it ferociously batters the Barque of St. Peter around and believe that it won’t sink down to the depths of the abyss. We believe this to be true because the Incarnate God Jesus Christ promised us that the gates of Hell would not prevail against His Church. Therefore since God revealed it, we accept it and know it. The eyes of Faith see what merely mortal eyes are incapable of seeing. They say that seeing is believing but through the eyes of Faith it is more fitting to say that believing is seeing or that is to say that believing is truly seeing things as they really are.
Fr. John Hardon explains the Theological Virtues very clearly,
A proper understanding of the Three Theological Virtues is central in both understanding the Catholic Faith and in preserving in it until the end. In the following quotes, Fr. John Hardon defines the Church’s teaching of the Theological Virtues as:
Theological Virtue of Faith:
The Theological Virtue of Hope:
The Theological Virtue of Charity:
As the City of Man grows in size, power, and wickedness it casts a dark shadow in which virtually nothing can, in natural terms, grow. As the great and terrible storm increases in its devastating power, it uproots and makes desolate all created things in its path and make no mistake, its path is global. Natural means and mere human effort will not quell the storm nor bring peace and salvation to anyone in its crosshairs. On the contrary it was and is human efforts and human will, at the exclusion of Faith and the supernatural which created this leviathan of a storm. It was and is apostasy from the Faith which created the new world order of the diabolical City of Man. When man on an individual and or on a societal level rejects God and apostatizes, it then necessarily follows that he has chosen to serve Satan rather than Omnipotent God Who created all things visible and invisible. Our Blessed Lord warned us that we could not serve two masters. One either chooses to serve God and to dwell in the City of God or one chooses to serve Satan and to dwell in his counterfeit City of Man. One either believes ALL that God has revealed through the Sacred Deposit of Faith or he doesn’t. One either has the infused Theological Virtue of Faith, or he doesn’t. There is no in between or neutral ground. This is the reason that we must beg God to have mercy on us and to grant us the Three Theological Virtues. If we are currently blessed with these Three Theological Virtues then we must fervently give thanks to Him for this great and invaluable treasure and ask Him to bless us with an increase of these virtues. Charity demands that we love God above all things and for the sake of God, Charity demands that we pray and do penance with the intention of asking God to have mercy on those who are yet in the darkness caused by the absence of Faith as we plead with Him to bestow upon them the Theological Virtue of Faith.
Now we can neither control this apocalyptic storm or save ourselves and our loved ones from it but we can help mitigate the desolation inflicted by the storm through how we choose to weather it. How can we weather this terrible storm? We can weather this storm by living out the Authentic Traditional Catholic Faith. We must choose to, with the grace of God, faithfully live out our state in life. We must make frequent use of the miracles that are the Sacraments of the Catholic Church. We must continue to educate ourselves about the Faith. Knowledge of the Faith is essential for being able to defend the Faith well. When we hear error, we must be ready to correct the error with Truth, in Charity. If the proximate rule of Faith is ambiguous or seems to contradict the constant Teaching of the Church, then we must adhere to the remote rule of Faith and the perennial Teaching of Holy Mother Church. We must live a life of virtue while asking Our Lady and Our Blessed Lord to help us vanquish our vices. We ought to ask the Lord to grant us the grace to never offend Him again and for the graces to become Saints. We must beg the Lord to grant us an increase of the Three Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity. We must commit ourselves to performing mental prayer every day. We must pray the most Holy Rosary on a daily basis. We should strongly consider making our consecration to Jesus through Mary if we haven’t done so already. I pray the following each day and I suggest that we all begin praying this,
Finally, as the storm wrecks havoc across the globe, it behooves us to meditate upon the following passage from the Gospel According to St. Mark and we ought to petition the Lord to grant us the eyes of Faith to do so. It is only through the eyes of Faith that we are able to look upon the current Barque of St. Peter as it is battered from without by the storm while simultaneously being attacked from within by the Enemy that has boarded the ship and yet we continue to truly believe that the great ship will not plunge into the depths of the abyss. After reading the following passage from Sacred Scripture, we ought to ask ourselves, “Why are we fearful? Have we not Faith yet?” The eyes of Faith show us that only the Lord can rebuke the storm and restore the tranquility of order. The Three Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity give us the light needed to safely navigate through the raging storm. When God infuses in us the Theological Virtues of Faith, Hope, and Charity there is no room for gloom, pride, diabolical disorientation, or despair. Jesus Christ is the Light of the World. At His name every knee shall bend. All that the Lord has revealed is True. He has conquered sin, death, and the Devil. With the Lord, nothing is impossible.
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