Kingship of Christ

This article from the Remnant Newspaper is excellent.

An excerpt.

We who are here together and in peace believe and hope in a fraternal world. We desire that men and women of different religions may everywhere gather and promote harmony, especially where there is conflict. Our future consists in living together. For this reason we are called to free ourselves from the heavy burdens of distrust, fundamentalism and hate. Believers should be artisans of peace in their prayers to God and in their actions for humanity! As religious leaders, we are duty bound to be strong bridges of dialogue, creative mediators of peace.  – Pope Francis, World Day of Prayer for Peace. Assisi, September 20, 2016

As notes, “Among the bizarre principles of bergoglian philosophy is this nugget: “unity is greater than conflict”. The consequences of this pseudo-principle are explained in Evangelii Gaudium, which claims to indicate the direction of Francis’ pontificate: we find expressions like “communion amid disagreement”, “friendship in society”, “multifaceted unity” and many others that, although deliberately ambiguous as Francis’ ideas and gestures have always been, nonetheless still permit an attentive observer to discern their true meaning.

En passant, it is noteworthy that someone who tries to appear as perfectly accessible to all – as a pastor who uses a telephone in order to reply to those who write to him, who devotes more time to greetings than to instruction when he meets pilgrims – prefers to keep one of the primary aspects of his doctrine shrouded in a nebulous mystery…. For what reason?

We have our own theory as to why that is, having everything to do with the great apostasy infecting the Catholic Church under this most disastrous pontificate. But rather than delve into the obvious contradictions, let us simply juxtapose the words of Pope Francis with those of the great Louis-Édouard-François-Desiré Pie, also knowns, simply, as Cardinal Pie—the French Catholic bishop of Poitiers–famous for his massive defence of the social reign of Christ the King. As the Catholic voice of Cardinal Pie answers the myriad errors of Pope Francis, let us pray for his intercession on behalf of our beloved Church in unprecedented crisis.

And as for our Protestant friends, let us recall that Christian can only be understood as Catholic. As St. Thomas says, we only call the “separated brethren” or the heretics and schismatics “Christian” out of politeness. They are not “Christian” simpliciter loquendo, but only in a qualified sense, secundum quid. So Christian unity can only be accomplished, as Pope Pius XI teaches in Mortalium Animos, by a return to the fold, to the one holy Catholic and apostolic Church–a prescription Pope Francis seems to reject. Again, contrast the words of Pope Francis at Assisi 2016 with those of his predecessor, Pope Pius XI:

So, Venerable Brethren, it is clear why this Apostolic See has never allowed its subjects to take part in the assemblies of non-Catholics: for the union of Christians can only be promoted by promoting the return to the one true Church of Christ of those who are separated from it, for in the past they have unhappily left it.

Faith, Criminals, & Revolution

Being familiar with faith and criminal related revolutionary elements embedded within some aspects of current Catholic culture, such as liberation theology, is important, and McNeil (1963) makes a relevant historical point here:

“Given a cause to make robbery respectable and leaders who knew how to combine preaching with pillage, brigandage could speedily snowball into a formidable military rebellion. The first Wahhabi “empire” of Arabia arose in this fashion in the mid-eighteenth century, growing rapidly until a well-equipped expeditionary force from Egypt suppressed it in 1818. Analogous occupational groups in the Balkans—shepherds, muleteers, mountaineers—also played a significant part in the history of the Serbian (1803—13) and Greek (1821—30) revolts; for the military leadership and the best fighters of both movements came from brigand bands organized to serve the new ideal of nationalism.” (pp. 695-696)

William H. McNeill. (1963). The Rise of the West: A History of the Human Community. Chicago: The University of Chicago Press.

Changing the Narrative

Changing it from seeing police as the problem to seeing them as the solution to the problem is crucial, as this article from City Journal explains.

An excerpt.

Donald Trump vigorously defended law enforcement during his presidential campaign. He pledged to restore order to the nation’s cities—where violent crime is surging—and to reinvigorate the rule of law. His appointment of conservative Republican senator Jeff Sessions as attorney general was a strong signal that Trump’s words were more than campaign rhetoric. Now that the Trump administration and the Sessions-led Justice Department are up and running, where should they focus their efforts?

The most immediate goal of the Trump administration should be to change the elite-driven narrative about the criminal-justice system. That narrative, which holds that policing is lethally racist, has dominated public discourse since the fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, in August 2014. In response, officers are backing off of proactive policing, and violent crime is rising fast: 2015 saw the largest one-year spike in homicides nationwide in nearly 50 years. That violent-crime increase has continued unabated through 2016 and into the early months of 2017. A Trump administration official—perhaps Attorney General Sessions, or the president himself—should publicly address the question of what we expect from police officers: Do we want them to be proactive and to try to stop crime before it happens? Or do we want them to be purely reactive, responding to crime only after someone has been victimized? The administration should explain that data-driven, proactive policing made possible the country’s 20-year, 50 percent violent-crime decline that began in the mid-1990s.

In February, Sessions made a good start in turning around the false narrative about policing, addressing the National Association of Attorneys General. Sessions warned that the nation’s violent-crime decline is now at risk, while acknowledging that the crime increase is not happening in every neighborhood. Yet we are diminished as a nation, he said, when citizens “fear for their life when they leave their home.” (To be blunt, the violent-crime increase has hit almost exclusively in black neighborhoods. Nine hundred additional black males were murdered in 2015 compared with 2014, bringing total black homicide deaths that year to more than 7,000. It is a marker of the perversity of elite rhetoric about race that both Trump and Sessions have been fiercely attacked as racist for pledging to save black lives.)

Sessions noted that officers have become reluctant to get out of their cars to conduct discretionary stops and other “up-close” preventive policing. The administration should go further: it should convey the charged, hostile atmosphere in which officers in many urban areas now operate, thanks to the hatred spread by the Black Lives Matter movement. Gun murders of officers increased more than 50 percent in 2016, led by the targeted assassinations of cops.

A frontal assault on the dominant narrative about a racist criminal-justice system will require laying out the stark racial disparities in criminal offending and victimization. The public has been kept in the dark for decades about how vast those disparities are: blacks commit homicide at eight times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined, for example, and die of homicide at six times the rate of whites and Hispanics combined. Lifting that veil of ignorance is necessary to explain why officers operate more actively in minority neighborhoods—in order to save lives. The public must also understand that it is law-abiding members of high-crime communities themselves who beg the police to maintain order, and that such public-order policing was central to the now-jeopardized 20-year crime decline.

The federal government will be vigilant against abusive policing, the administration should say, but it will not deem police departments and police officers biased for proactively fighting crime.

The federal government’s practice of slapping years-long consent decrees on police departments calls out for reform. There is zero chance that civil rights attorneys in the federal government know more than police departments do about how to fight crime constitutionally and successfully. Yet the Obama administration opened 25 “pattern-or-practice” civil rights investigations, based on the false notions that police bias is widespread and that federal lawyers are qualified to recommend effective police practices. The Department of Justice is currently enforcing 14 consent decrees with local departments, which grew out of such investigations. At a minimum, the Trump administration should publish data on how much the Obama-era investigations and consent decrees have cost those departments.

Fake News & Abraham Lincoln

Republicans are talking a lot about Fake News these days and it is interesting to note that the founder of the Republican Party, President Abraham Lincoln, also had to deal with it during his campaign for president, as Doris Kearns Goodwin writes in her great book, Team of Rivals:

“Although increasingly infuriated by Southern misrepresentation of his positions, Lincoln confined expression of his anger to private letters. Upon hearing from the New York Time’s Henry Raymond that one of his correspondents, a wealthy Mississippi gentleman named William Smedes, had justified the state’s “blaze of passion” for secession on the grounds that Lincoln was “pledged to the ultimate extinction of slavery, holds the black man to be the equal of the white, & stigmatizes our whole people as immoral & unchristian,” Lincoln issued a blistering reply. As evidence Smedes had cited an “infamous” speech Lincoln had purportedly given on the occasion when Chase was presented with his silver pitcher by the free blacks of Cincinnati. For such a speech, Smedes proclaimed, he would “regard death by a stroke of lightning to Mr. Lincoln as but a just punishment from an offended deity.”

“What a very mad-man your correspondent, Smedes is,” Lincoln replied, countering that he “was never in a meeting of negroes in [his] life; and never saw a pitcher presented by anybody to anybody.” Moreover, he went on. “Mr. Lincoln is not pledged to the ultimate extinction of slavery; does not hold the black man to be the equal of the white, unqualifiedly as Mr. S. states it; and never did stigmatize their white people as immoral & unchristian.” (p. 295). Doris Kearns Goodwin. (2005). Team of Rivals: The Political Genius of Abraham Lincoln. New York: Simon & Schuster.

Catholics & Islam

This outstanding article from Crisis Magazine about one of the most perceptive analysts of Islam—Ayaan Hirsi Ali, a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution—is a must read.

I have all of Ali’s books and I suggest you also consider adding her work to your library.

An excerpt from the Crisis Magazine article.

Many Catholics look upon Islam as an ally in the struggle against militant secularism. Since Muslims are opposed to permissiveness, pornography, same-sex “marriage,” and other aspects of the secularist agenda, many Catholics assume that they must share similar values about marriage and sexuality.

But this is not the case. The Islamic emphasis on modesty and chastity shouldn’t be confused with the Christian standard. Christian sexual ethics are based on respect for women, whereas Islamic sexual ethics are motivated in large part by a disparagement of women.

Islamic family values are not about honoring women, but about protecting a man’s honor. And, in Islam, a man’s honor is bound up with his ability to control the women in his life. If a wife, daughter, or sister does anything to jeopardize the honor of her husband, father, or brother, she risks severe punishments and even death. In the West, a disobedient Muslim daughter may have her head shaved; in the Muslim world she may be killed.

The Muslim male’s control over women and girls is manifested in many ways, but one of the most disturbing is the widespread practice of female genital mutilation (FGM). According to the Population Reference Bureau, approximately half a million women and girls in the United States have undergone the procedure or are at risk of the procedure. In a recent interview with Tucker Carlson, Ayaan Hirsi Ali pushed for laws that would ban the procedure, which she said is designed to “kill the sexual libido … and ensure virginity” before marriage.

Who is Ayaan Hirsi Ali? Born and raised in Somalia, where genital mutilation and forced marriages are common, Ali eventually left her tribe and family and escaped to Holland. There she began a public campaign to bring attention to the mistreatment of Muslim women. In the course of time, Ali was elected to the Dutch Parliament and—partly as a result of her bad experience with Islam, and partly from her study of the Enlightenment—she became an atheist. She also became a target of radical Islamists, and, under increasing pressure from the Dutch government (which considered her to be too provocative), she left Holland for America.

The author of several books, Ali is currently a Research Fellow at the Hoover Institution. In addition, she heads a foundation which defends the rights of Muslim women. The AHA Foundation is dedicated to protecting girls and women from forced marriages, honor violence, genital mutilation, and from oppressive sharia laws.

What might Catholics learn from Ayaan Hirsi Ali? Two important lessons come to mind. The first is that Islamic values are quite different from Catholic values. Many Catholics, including those in leadership positions, have been content to get by with a multicultural lite view of Islam. In other words, they believe that while Muslims may have different foods and customs, they’re just like us when it comes to basics.

But as Ali and other former Muslims have pointed out, there is a world of difference. The central family value in Islam is not mutual love, but family honor. This is not to say that Muslim families are devoid of love for one another; it’s to recognize that they are under enormous cultural and religious pressure to put other things first. Nonie Darwish, a Muslim convert to Christianity, makes the case that Muhammad viewed a normal family—one in which a man’s first love and loyalty is to his family—as an impediment to jihad. “It is not uncommon,” she observes, “for a man who is loyal to one wife and treats her with love and respect to suffer ridicule for not being man enough.”

Catholics seem largely unaware of the extent to which the code of honor suffuses Muslim life. Practices such as genital mutilation, forced marriage, child marriage, polygamy, wife-beating, and easy divorce (for men) are not cultural outliers, they are part of the warp and woof of Islamic societies. But the Catholic leadership has been so focused on proclaiming its respect for Islam that it has largely ignored these matters.

However intended, these proclamations of respect and even esteem for Islam are likely to be interpreted by Muslims as an endorsement of the status quo and also of Islam’s all-male leadership. When Catholics declare their solidarity with Islam, what they usually mean is solidarity against “Islamophobia,” or against restrictions on Muslim immigration, or similar fashionable causes. But, too often, these solidarity statements come across as blanket endorsements.

Muslim leaders can elicit these endorsements by the simple expedient of playing the victim card. They understand Catholic psychology far better than Catholics understand the psyche of Muslims, and they know that Catholic leaders reflexively side with those who claim victim status. By constantly portraying Islam as a victim of bias, bigotry, and “Islamophobia,” Muslim leaders know that they can win the support of Catholics for whatever agenda they wish to pursue.

Yet Islam is much more victimizer than victim. And among its chief victims are Muslim women and children. Who speaks for them? Well, Ayaan Hirsi Ali does and so does Nonie Darwish. But I don’t recall any prominent Church leaders speaking out about the oppression of Muslim women. Indeed, the Church’s current policy of avoiding any criticism of Islam can easily be mistaken for an endorsement of Islam’s misogynistic practices. Church authorities speak often about their concern for the most helpless and vulnerable in society, but that concern does not seem to extend to Muslim women and children, who are among the most vulnerable people in the world.

Ali refers to the method by which the Islamist ideology is spread as “dawa.” In its narrow sense, “dawa” means proselytizing, but in the sense that Ali uses it, it is roughly equivalent to the term “cultural jihad.” It is similar to what twentieth-century communists called the “long march through the institutions.” Islamic cultural jihad is an attempt to infiltrate and influence institutions such as media, schools, courts, and government bureaucracies with the aim of advancing sharia law.


Dorothy Day & Catholic Soft Communism

I was not familiar with the writings of Dorothy Day until I became a Catholic, but then became a fervent fan after reading much of her published work and eventually have pretty much collected everything she wrote in book form.

However, since I read the shocking 2010 book by Dr. Carol Byrne, The Catholic Worker Movement (1933-1980): A Critical Analysis and followed up with my own research, I realized how devoted she remained to Communism throughout her life.

Dorothy Day’s published writings, which is what most of us base our opinion of her on, are filled with devotional service and Catholic oriented content; but her writings to her fellow workers, those writings specifically in the Catholic Worker—which Dorothy Day edited from its beginning in 1933 to her death in 1980, clearly stood on the side of Communism against Capitalism, as did her many speeches, people she honored and her activism.

As I wrote in my book, Catholicism, Communism & Criminal Reformation:

As Earl Browder, who headed the Party during its heyday in the 1930s, would later boast:

Entering the 1930s as a small ultra-left sect of some 7,000 members, remnant of the fratricidal factional struggle of the 1920s that had wiped out the old “left wing” of American socialism, the CP rose to become a national political influence far beyond its numbers (at its height it never exceeded 100,000 members), on a scale never before reached by a socialist movement claiming the Marxist tradition. It became a practical power in organized labour, its influence became strong in some state organizations of the Democratic party (even dominant in a few for some years), and even some Republicans solicited its support. It guided the anti-Hitler movement of the American League for Peace and Democracy that united a cross-section of some five million organized Americans (a list of its sponsors and speakers would include almost a majority of Roosevelt’s Cabinet, the most prominent intellectuals, judges of all grades up to State Supreme Courts, church leaders, labour leaders, etc.). Right-wing intellectuals complained that it exercised an effective veto in almost all publishing houses against their books, and it is at least certain that those right-wingers had extreme difficulty getting published.

While Browder’s boast contained a lot of truth, he could hardly take full credit. The Communist Party USA only broke out of its isolation in 1935, when the Comintern [Lenin’s Bolsheviks believed that unless socialist revolutions triumphed world-wide, they would be defeated by international capitalism, so they organized the Communist International—abbreviated as Comintern—in Moscow in 1919 to foment revolution around the world.] taking advantage of the widespread legitimate fear of German Nazism, ordered the international Communist movement to adopt an ecumenical attitude and stretch its hands out to those it previously hated, including socialists and Catholics. (Italicized section added.) Romerstein, H. & Breindel, E. (2000). The Venona secrets: Exposing Soviet espionage and America’s traitors. Washington, D.C.: Regnery Publishing, Inc. (pp. 98-99)

David H. Lukenbill. (2013), Catholicism, Communism & Criminal Reformation. Sacramento, California: Chulu Press, The Lampstand Foundation. (pp. 84-85)

Byrne (2010)—virtually alone with an insightful and penetrating understanding of the deep Communist orientation of this seminal organization and its founders—writes about the Catholic Worker Movement in the introduction to her book:

The Catholic Worker Movement was co-founded by Dorothy Day and Peter Maurin in New York, on 1st May 1933, to provide food, clothing and shelter for the destitute during the years of the Great Depression. It was a movement built on the long-term despair of Americans who turned to radical political and social movements for a solution to unemployment, homelessness and poverty. For Day and Maurin it was an opportunity to fulfil their dream of starting a radical mass movement that might one day reverberate around the world. But in the intervening period they devoted their energies to fomenting a revolution against the US government, immersed as it was in upholding all the social and political institutions which they wanted to abolish: Capitalism, industrial corporations, big business and the armed forces. These they regarded as the causes of poverty and injustice in the world.

Key to the technique of protest was to project an image as a victim in the “class struggle” described by Karl Marx, then to seize the moral high ground by attacking the other side as the greedy, guilty “bourgeois.” It is essential to keep in mind that Day’s theories for a new social order share a common identity: they were all part of a “culture of victimization” which claims that any kind of social disadvantage is due entirely to “oppression” by the “bourgeoisie”. That explains her presumption that in the struggle for “liberation” the poor and the workers were by definition always innocent even when they resorted to armed violence, and rich capitalists always the guilty party even when they contributed notably to the common good. Carol Byrne, (2010). The Catholic worker movement (1933-1980): A critical analysis. United Kingdom: AuthorHouse UK Ltd. (pp. ix-x)

Lukenbill Ibid. (pp. 89-90)

I think that in Dorothy Day’s case, she had conflated Communism with Catholicism so deeply in her own mind and spirit that they were virtually one and the same thing to her—a classic case of being duped—a form of thinking still very prevalent within the Catholic left, especially those still, and they are many, enamored with Liberation Theology.

Now that her cause for sainthood has been approved by the American bishops to move her from the current designation as Servant of God, to the next step in the canonization process, the history of the Vatican’s connection to Russian Communism through the period when the Fatima call from the Holy Virgin to consecrate Russia to her Immaculate Heart was not responded to, due, in large part, to the Vatican influence of Orthodox Russian Metropolitans now known to have been KGB directed, will perhaps be examined.

Lukenbill Ibid. (p. 92)

I trust soundness will prevail and Dorothy Day will not become a saint, though admiration for her work with the poor, even tinged at it is with the anger and hostility against capitalism and the American way, is warranted and it is an admiration I share.

Cell Phones & Computers in Prisons

The criminals in prison are getting better-equipped to commit crimes, as this article from CNN reports.

An excerpt.

Lax security allowed inmates at an Ohio prison to build two computers and connect them to the state’s Department of Rehabilitation and Correction’s network, investigators found.

The computers were found hidden in the ceiling of the prison in Marion County in 2015, prompting an investigation by Ohio’s Inspector General.

The computers contained applications for credit cards using another inmate’s information, pornography, research on tax refund fraud, recipes for homemade drugs and message exchanges.

The Marion Correctional Institution inmates were also able to issue passes to gain access to multiple areas within the prison.

IT employees had received an alert about a computer using ODRC’s computer network that “had exceeded a daily internet usage threshold.” The alert also pointed out that the computers were being used with a former employee and prison contractor’s stolen credentials.

The resourceful inmates had access to old computer parts through a prison program that employs inmates to dismantle old gadgets for recycling.

During the investigation, two inmates allegedly admitted to building the computers and placing them in the ceiling. One of them told investigators they transported the computers within the prison due to “pretty lax” supervision from some of the corrections officers, according to a report released Tuesday.

“Inmates were allowed unsupervised access to computers and computer parts. Inmates were allowed unsupervised access to vast areas of the institution, and unsupervised time to build, transport, run computer cables, and hide the computers in the ceiling,” the report said.

“Investigators determined prisoners took advantage of the freedoms, programs, and lax security standards at MCI,” it concluded.

Mary Magdalene

A wonderful article about her from the Remnant Newspaper.

An excerpt.

Saint Mary Magdalen is one of those favored souls who actually walked with Our Lord, witnessed His passion and death, and yet kept the faith even after seeing firsthand the horrors of His Crucifixion. “God is dead,” the Romans told her, but she paid them little mind then even as we should when they claim the same thing today.

In a time of discouragement and loss of faith, Magdalene emerges as the powerful patroness of hope and perseverance. She is not a doctor of the Church, but she shows what love of Christ can attain, even for poor, ignorant sinners, and how God crowns such love with His predilection.  Her books were the Soul and the Sacred Humanity of Our Lord, Jesus Christ, and her wisdom was Eternal Wisdom Itself. She is also the one who wept for Christ because she could not find Him. “The Angels said to her ‘Woman, why are you weeping?’ She said to them ‘Because they have taken away my Lord and I do not know where they have laid Him’.’”

And for the sake of her enduring, faithful love, she was chosen by Our Lord to be an Apostle to the Apostles.  It fell to St. Mary Magdalene to announce the Good News of the Resurrection to the bewildered, discouraged apostles who had hidden themselves away in the upper room “for fear of the Jews….”

Today, as our families divide, our Mass disappears, our world becomes plagued by war, we, too, do not always know where to find Him. Even in Catholic churches the tabernacle is often hidden away to make room for deified man in the sanctuaries. Where have they taken Him?

At a time such as this, it seems most fitting to turn to those who retained Hope even during the darkest hours in human history when there seemed to be little reason to persevere. Some say ours is the most terrible time in history, and yet what must it have been like for Magdalene at that cataclysmic moment when the Messiah breathed His last breath and gave up His spirit? Can you imagine the silence and desolation at the foot of the Cross just then!

This great saint saw the physical Body of Our Lord expire before her eyes. And, yet, far from despairing on that first Good Friday, she wept and prayed and never ceased to seek His Adorable Face. His death on the Cross did not crush her faith, her love or her hope. What cause have we, then, to despair now as the Mystical Body of Christ seems to be expiring (in its human element) before our eyes. Easter Sunday will come, Mary knew it and so must we. Patiently, she waited with Our Lady in the shadow of the Cross, for the third day to dawn. And so must we.

A frequent accusation leveled at tradition-minded Catholics these days is that we, in our arrogance, see ourselves as “more Catholic than the Church”. If there be any truth to this charge it is to be sadly lamented. But one wonders if Mary wasn’t accused of something similar, standing as she did beneath the Cross after all but one of the apostles had fled. Who is she? Who does she think she is? Peter isn’t even there!

It was love, not arrogance, that inspired Mary to stand at the foot of the Cross even when Peter was absent; so, too, it is love—love for Our Lord and His Church—that inspires Catholics today to cling to the Faith of the ages, even, alas, when most of the Apostles seem to be hiding for fear of the Jews.

And lest this be confused with illusions of grandeur or exaggerated holiness on our part, we hasten to admit that fear is also a motivator. We’re afraid to depart from Tradition for fear that our faith will fail us. If salvation was so difficult to attain in centuries past—back when Christendom reigned and there was still the glory of the Tridentine Mass offered daily throughout the world; devotions; holy armies of monks and brides of Christ; good Catholic schools; thriving, orthodox parishes, priests and seminaries—how endangered must our souls be now when only a shell of the great Catholic fortress remains standing?

Who among us is fool enough to presume, therefore, that salvation is easily within his grasp when the bulwarks of the old Faith that stood strong for almost two thousand years have fallen into ruin and the Church has been invaded by her ancient enemy? We’re no heroes; we remain paralyzed with fear, our arms wrapped around Tradition like Mary’s around the Cross. What else can we do?

We look at the crisis within our Church and we see therein the passion of the Mystical Body of Christ unfolding before our eyes. And in the darkness that is falling again, we plead as Mary might have: Dear Jesus, we are not strong enough to be without You; we are afraid of the Romans. Permit us to remain here with You a while longer.

Good Friday

A wonderful post from Remnant Newspaper.

An excerpt.

At the age of 33, Jesus was condemned to death.  At the time Crucifixion was the “worst” death. Only the worst criminals were condemned to be crucified. Yet it was even more dreadful for Jesus, unlike other criminals condemned to death by crucifixion Jesus was to be nailed to the cross by His hands and feet.

Each nail was 6 to 8 inches long. The nails were driven into His wrist. Not into His palms as is commonly portrayed. There’s a tendon in the wrist that extends to the shoulder. The Roman guards knew that when the nails were being hammered into the wrist that tendon would tear and break, forcing Jesus to use His back muscles to support himself so that He could breathe. Both of His feet were nailed together. Thus He was forced to support Himself on the single nail that impaled His feet to the cross.

Jesus could not support himself with His legs because of the pain so He was forced to alternate between arching His back then using his legs just to continue to breathe. Imagine the struggle, the pain, the suffering, the courage. Jesus endured this reality for over 3 hours. Yes, over 3 hours! Can you imagine this kind of suffering?

A few minutes before He died, Jesus stopped bleeding. He was simply pouring water from his wounds. From common images we see wounds to His hands and feet and even the spear wound to His side… but do we realize His wounds were actually made in his body. A hammer driving large nails through the wrist, the feet overlapped and an even larger nail hammered through the arches, then a Roman guard piercing His side with a spear. But before the nails and the spear Jesus was whipped and beaten. The whipping was so severe that it tore the flesh from His body. The beating so horrific that His face was torn and his beard ripped from His face. The crown of thorns cut deeply into His scalp. Most men would not have survived this torture. ” He had no more blood to bleed out, only water poured from His wounds.

The human adult body contains about 3.5 liters (just less than a gallon) of blood. Jesus poured all 3.5 liters of his blood; He had three nails hammered into His members; a crown of thorns on His head and, beyond that, a Roman soldier who stabbed a spear into His chest. All these without mentioning the humiliation He suffered after carrying His own cross for almost 2 kilometers, while the crowd spat in his face and threw stones (the cross was almost 30 kg of weight, only for its higher part, where His hands were nailed). Jesus had to endure this experience, to open the Gates of Heaven, so that you can have free access to God. So that your sins could be “washed” away. He died for you. Will you die for Him?

Do not be ashamed to be a Christian. “Everyone therefore who acknowledges me before others, I also will acknowledge before My Father in heaven; but whosoever denies Me before others, I also will deny before My Father in heaven”. Yes, I love God. He is my source of life and my Savior. He keeps me alive day and night. Without Him, I am nothing, but with Him “I can do all things through Him who strengthens me”. Philippians 4:13.

This is the simple proof. If you love God and you are a believer and trust in salvation through Christ Jesus, remember this. Wear the scapular. Carry the rosary. Make the Sign of the Cross. Let the world see Him through you. Never hesitate to tell the world: I am a Christian. I am a follower of Jesus Christ. I am a Catholic.

Holy Thursday

A wonderful post from the Conservative Treehouse Blog and be sure to watch the video at the link.

An excerpt.

At the end of the liturgy on Holy Thursday evening, in every Catholic Church around the world, the Blessed Sacrament is removed to the altar of repose, the altar is stripped, the church is bare, empty. Tomb-like. It is a striking and heartbreaking tradition, and I make sure to attend each year, to allow my heart to break, my tears to fall, my spirit to be clouded in gloom and dread, preparing for Good Friday, and Christ’s passion.

My purpose in sharing this video is to encourage those of you who let Easter sneak up on you, without much thought beforehand, to find your own ways to open your heart and experience the pain of Holy Thursday and Good Friday. Perhaps dedicate an hour to prayer and scripture. Go to a church and wait with Jesus during the hours of 12 to 3. Give alms. Go to a Good Friday service. Fast. Cut off the phones, televisions, computers.

Observing these two solemn days of the Christian calendar will make your Easter more meaningful, and enrich your faith.