From Blessed Anne Catherine Emmerich’s Vision of the Harrowing of Hell— an Insight Proven True

In the centre of Hell I saw a dark and horrible-looking abyss, and into this Lucifer was cast, after being first strongly secured with chains; thick clouds of sulphureous black smoke arose from its fearful depths, and enveloped his frightful form in the dismal folds, thus effectually concealing him from every beholder. God himself had decreed this; and I was likewise told, if I remember right, that he will be unchained for a time fifty or sixty years before the year of Christ 2000. The dates of many other events were pointed out to me which I do not now remember; but a certain number of demons are to be let loose much earlier than Lucifer, in order to tempt men, and to serve as instruments of the divine vengeance. I should think that some must be loosened even in the present day, and others will be set free in a short time.

The Dolorous Passion of Jesus Christ, chapter 59

What is Later than Better Late than Never?

Maybe this (from Kansas Catholic on twitter) but Cdl. Müller calling for a trial of the heretical German bishops is welcome, all the same.

Maybe the good Cardinal will call for a trial of heretical Argentinian bishop(s) next? And not just call for one, but hold one and act on one.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Not Me

Well, anyway, not after Lent:

Most Americans fear expressing political, religious views at work: Poll

I posted this because the headline made me laugh— my spiritual director suggested that for Lent I should refrain from giving my opinion unless it was asked for. See, he gets me. After I ended one laughing jag he “explained” how it’s really a penance for everyone else who are otherwise “deprived of my wisdom!” That’s when I lost it and laughed my fool head off.


Since you asked, I highly recommended a good spiritual director who can call you out when required.


This week is one of the deep fasts of Lent for me. Last week we had the Feast of St. Thomas Aquinas to celebrate, and next week the calendar is replete with feasts– St. Joseph, St. Benedict, and the great Feast of the Annunciation. Following that week is Passiontide, and the fast intensifies. This third week of Lent is therefore a particularly difficult one for me. Going from non-penitential to penitential and back again strikes right at my lack of self-discipline. Going totally without some thing or other I can do. Overindulging is easy. Moderation is a constant struggle.

In this light I see the unfortunate reality of my pride. It does have an enduring vitality, and even in fasting and abstinence pride can intrude. It does intrude. I can go all Lent only drinking water, as I did sometimes in the past? Big woo. After Lent it is so easy to give over to all the indulgences I so proudly give up in Lent. It is so easy to see that improvement of soul is either illusory or temporary and weak. Early in my “tradversion”, I recall one Lent–ONE– where I could sense consolation, offer up suffering, and see improvement in the spiritual life. I perceived I was being given spiritual insights and I was aware that God was giving them. That of course was a great gift of God, but I understand that even Lents where I sense no such things are also great gifts of God. The point of my example is that even that year, when it seemed like I turned a corner, it was squandered over the last several years of disappointment. Not enough disappointment to change anything, mind you. The slide of mediocrity continues.

In Septuagesimatide and on into Lent, so many of the scripture readings warn against worldly attachments. With the world plunging down a hole, no Catholic can fail to understand that the attachment to worldly things is a disappointment now and death in the world to come. So in the midst of this struggle of Lent I was struck by the pairing of psalms in Lauds today. I usually don’t pray Lauds but rather some other hour of the breviary. Today I simply wanted to forget about my various concerns and just give Him praise and thanks. As usual, Christ operates in the Liturgy and I got a lesson in praise through His Mercy and the cost of it.

The first psalm is perhaps the greatest of the penitential psalms, Psalm 50. This is the psalm of David after his mortal sins with Bethsabee. Every sinner can relate to the depths of his misery and his sincere pleading for forgiveness:

6 To thee only have I sinned, and have done evil before thee: that thou mayst be justified in thy words and mayst overcome when thou art judged. 7 For behold I was conceived in iniquities; and in sins did my mother conceive me. 8 For behold thou hast loved truth: the uncertain and hidden things of thy wisdom thou hast made manifest to me. 9 Thou shalt sprinkle me with hyssop, and I shall be cleansed: thou shalt wash me, and I shall be made whiter than snow. 10 To my hearing thou shalt give joy and gladness: and the bones that have been humbled shall rejoice.

I was surprised to see this psalm chosen for Lauds, even in Lent. Lauds is the hour of praise, right? It isn’t even a Friday. Well, the lament and pleading continue in this psalm, a fairly long one at that. But in praying it I was struck by the confidence of David as he begs mercy; that confidence is not in himself, but in Him Whom he has offended. That confidence was and is rewarded, and at last he gives praise in that confidence:

17 O Lord, thou wilt open my lips: and my mouth shall declare thy praise. 18 For if thou hadst desired sacrifice, I would indeed have given it: with burnt offerings thou wilt not be delighted. 19 A sacrifice to God is an afflicted spirit: a contrite and humbled heart, O God, thou wilt not despise.

Right after Psalm 50, the Church gives Psalm 42, so familiar to those who assist at the ancient Mass. Its words comprise the prayers at the foot of the altar recited by the priest as he prepares to climb the the hill of Calvary to offer the Sacrifice. The words, if applied to us, sound like hubris. Applied to Christ, the High Priest and Victim, they call God to witness the justice of His cause and His Innocence:

Judge me, O God, and distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy: deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man. 2 For thou art God my strength: why hast thou cast me off? and why do I go sorrowful whilst the enemy afflicteth me? 3 Send forth thy light and thy truth: they have conducted me, and brought me unto thy holy hill, and into thy tabernacles. 4 And I will go in to the altar of God: to God who giveth joy to my youth. 5 To thee, O God my God, I will give praise upon the harp: why art thou sad, O my soul? and why dost thou disquiet me?

6 Hope in God, for I will still give praise to him: the salvation of my countenance, and my God.

This psalm is also a psalm of David. This is the same David who, when in the depths of regret and misery, begged the Lord for forgiveness. Now he calls on God to judge him and to distinguish his cause from those who do evil. It would be easy to think he’s got a lot of nerve, right? Of course, the Messias is David’s Son, and this psalm most appropriately refers to Our Lord. He has every right to claim the just cause.

But back to David. Reading this psalm in light of Psalm 50, David describes, wittingly or unwittingly, the cost of the forgiveness he sought there. He describes what it cost Christ, and what it will cost him, not to mention us. He is sorrowful and the enemy afflicteth him. But when God sends forth His light and His truth, he will be conducted unto God’s holy hill– he will go in to the altar of God. To God Who giveth joy to his youth.

And so again, he gives praise. This praise of Lauds–unexpected– struck me this Lenten Feria. He is sorry. He needs forgiveness. He asks sincerely and confidently. He receives it, and climbs the holy hill to Calvary, wherein lies his salvation, and the perfect imitation of Christ’s love for us. Remember, David said in Psalm 50, that if God wanted sacrifice he would indeed give it! And this gives him joy, joy to his youth— vitality, strength, life eternal. A very good lesson for today, I think.

And so, hope in God, for I will still give praise to him: the salvation of my countenance, and my God.

Prosecuted for Telling the Truth: the Future is Now

This is not unique, but as a marker on the world’s ski jump into hell I point you to this story about a UK protestant minister’s arrest for correctly referring to a tranny as a man. It would be easy enough to point out that this is England, the country that so loves to persecute Catholics and others who adhere to any part of the truth. But we all know that every Western country is on the same team when it comes to sexual perversion and the silencing of truth. Ask (though of course you can’t) someone detained without process for attending a political rally in 2021.

It won’t be long, should heaven not intervene, that you and I will face death for telling the truth. Our Lord warned us, and here it comes.

Offer up your Lenten penances that Our Lord and His mother will succor us and convert hearts.

Our Lady of Fatima, pray for us!

Jeremias 17: 5-10

5 Thus saith the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord. 6 For he shall be like tamaric in the desert, and he shall not see when good shall come: but he shall dwell in dryness in the desert in a salt land, and not inhabited. 7 Blessed be the man that trusteth in the Lord, and the Lord shall be his confidence. 8 And he shall be as a tree that is planted by the waters, that spreadeth out its roots towards moisture: and it shall not fear when the heat cometh. And the leaf thereof shall be green, and in the time of drought it shall not be solicitous, neither shall it cease at any time to bring forth fruit. 9 The heart is perverse above all things, and unsearchable, who can know it? 10 I am the Lord who search the heart and prove the reins: who give to every one according to his way, and according to the fruit of his devices.