Wishing you all a profitable and holy season of Advent, that time of the year so strange for the practicing Catholic in this world of modernists. One wants to prepare and practice some type of penance while of course looking forward with hope and joy to the coming of Our Lord at Christmas. Yet always the people around us begin Advent at whatever level of stage 4 Chrimbo they will ever get, a ‘cheer’ that ever dwindles until it is spent at or likely before Christmas Day. I don’t know about you. But it seems the decorations this year have been up since November 1.
Anyway, back to my point. I wanted to post this quote from a sermon by Peter of Blois on Advent, proving God’s Word is always relevant, and His plan perfect:
When they shall say, peace and security, says the apostle, then shall sudden destruction come upon them, as the pains upon her that is with child, and they shall not escape.
Men must look for the Peace of Christ in the Reign of Christ. Thus it has always been, since the Protoevengelium, when the Just God, also the Merciful God, announced to the first sinners the coming of the Messias. Since the Incarnation, there is One Man Who rules us. He rules all.
As soon as we face that Truth, all will make sense. Our King lives! He has conquered death! All things are subject to Him. Let us lovingly submit to such a King, and pray for the grace to live in this life according to His sovereign law. Then we may hope that we will live forever in his love.
It must be obvious by now that all the godless (or worse) governments in the world have failed, and failed spectacularly. Do not put your hope in them. Let us be not proud, but beg Our King and His Holy Queen Mother to save us and have mercy on us.
As the Cristeros said, “Viva Cristo Rey!” And Lord Jesus, reign over us!
There is still time to assist at Mass at an Institute of Christ the King Sovereign Priest apostolate, where one may obtain a plenary indulgence for so doing. Solemn High Mass at St. Francis de Sales Oratory is at 10:30 am.
Many of you know about this historical event and the mess it created for the Church until finally resolved. If you don’t, then know that in the late fourteenth and early fifteen centuries, there was a nearly 40 year period in which the identity of the one, true Pope was disputed.
In 1377, Pope Gregory XI moved from Avignon, where the papal court resided for 68 years, back to Rome, thanks in large part to the Catholic action of St. Catherine of Siena. The Avignon popes were heavily influenced by the French monarchy. Gregory’s move back to Rome was thus politically unpalatable to the French throne and its dependents.
When Gregory died in 1378, rival claimants to the See of Peter were elected, one in Rome (Pope Urban VI) and one in Avignon (Antipope Clement VII).
Pope Boniface IX succeeded Urban, and was succeeded by Pope Innocent VII, who in turn was succeeded by Pope Gregory XII, all reigning from Rome. Antipope Clement was in turn succeeded in Avignon by Antipope Benedict XIII.
Further complicating matters was the development of a third claimant line, established in Pisa, by many bishops frustrated by the ongoing schism. The Council of Pisa declared both claimants illegitimate and elected Antipope Alexander V in 1409. Now there were three “bishops in white” claiming to be pope. Antipope Alexander V was then succeeded by Antipope John -/ahem/- XXIII.
Finally, the Council of Constance resolved this sad chapter in the Church’s history in 1413, when it helped arranged the voluntary abdications of Pope Gregory XII and Antipope John XXIII (who, reconciled to the Church, is interred with honor in the bapistry of the Duomo in Florence). Antipope XIII pf Avignon refused to resign, and was excommunicated by the Council as a schismatic. Then Pope Martin V was finally elected, and the undisputed Roman Pontiff reigned again from Rome.
Why the history lesson? Three reasons:
1. During that whole sad time of confusion,there was always, at most, ONE TRUE POPE.
2. We need to ponder, with sorrow, contrition, and filial fear, that every one of the popes and antipopes of that period BELIEVED AND TAUGHT THE CATHOLIC FAITH. This schism, you see, was really an ongoing dispute over a mistake in fact. The Catholic faith was not under constant attack by either pope or antipope.
3. When you pray for a resolution to the papal confusion of our time, consider this: Francisfavorite Cardinal Taigle (made Cardinal in 2012 by Pope Benedict XVI) is just 64 years old.
The situation would be more easily, and more swiftly, solved if the next conclave followed the abdication or death of Pope Benedict XVI. But the Triumph of the Immaculate Heart will do just fine, too.
Today is the feast day of St. Maurice and companions. This entry from Catholic Daily should put us to shame:
Saint Maurice was a member of the Theban Legion, a Roman legion said to have been constituted by Christian soldiers from Africa, which was called to put down a revolt in Aaunum, located in modern day Switzerland, in the year 287.
Two legends exist about the martyrdom of St. Maurice and his companions. According to the legends, the legion’s soldiers were either ordered to take part in pagan sacrifices, or ordered to harass and kill some local Christians. In either event the 6,600 men of Maurice’s legion refused. In punishment for their disobedience, every tenth man in the legion was killed. When the remaining soldiers, fortified by St. Maurice, still refused other legions were called in to force them to follow their orders. Persisting in their refusal, they were all massacred.