In the image above you can see the present shape of the solid bronze Crucifix that was placed on the altar of the Basilica of Our Lady of Guadalupe at Tepeyac Hill. It was bent out of shape by the explosion of a bomb placed there by Anarchist Luciano Perez on November 14, 1920. The Miraculous Tilma was not affected by the explosion but you can plainly see how Jesus “bent over backwards” to protect his mother.
The image can be used to illustrate how Modernism has affected the Church. Just imagine the explosion happening in very slow motion, more or less like in one of those action movies where they play the blasts slowly for better effect.
A definition before we continue. Modernism is nothing more than one of the forms of Liberalism. What is Liberalism? My quick and dirty definition is simple: “A project to build a society outside the boundaries and constraints of Christianity.” Liberalism has adopted many shapes and has taken many names but in the end, its proposition is always the same: “Let us build a world without God.” Modernism is also a heresy that has affected the Church for about 500 years. What we are going through is not Post-Modernism but the apotheosis of Modernism. The beast is now manifest in the fullness of its ugly splendor. The explosion that is blowing in full force through the Church right now, began five centuries ago. All that is repulsive and deformed in the Church today, is the result of that explosion.
To get to the current point of confusion, a number of conditions had to be met. The most important of those conditions was an almost total ignorance of the true faith of Christ spread throughout the Church. Why? Because the Church is the channel for all the graces that God bestows on the world. If a Protestant pastor, such as Billy Graham –who passed away recently– is able to move hearts closer to Christ, the necessary graces that enabled him to do that, flowed through the Catholic Church. This is Catholic doctrine, I did not make it up. Now, anyone bent on spiritually conquering the world –like the prince of darkness for example– must concentrate in neutralizing the Catholic Church.
We personally know that sin and disobedience separate us from God, making our prayers and worship ineffective. Christ condemned the “hypocrites” –that is the Greek word for “actor”– they “acted” as if they were faithful when in reality they were not. Those “already have their reward” (fake grace for fake worship) while those who struggle sincerely to defeat sin are “proven more righteous” than the hypocrites. So, if one could put a bunch of ignorant hypocrites in charge of the Catholic Church … the world, completely disconnected from the grace of God, would fall in the hands of the wicked like a ripe fruit. Make no mistake: controlling the Church is the enemy’s number one goal and he has been working on it day after day throughout history.
For a long while that “man of lawlessness” was restrained.
Let no one deceive you in any manner; for the day will not come, unless the rebellion comes first, and the man of lawlessness is revealed, the son of perdition, who opposes and exalts himself against every so-called god or object of worship, so that he takes his seat in the temple of God, proclaiming himself to be God.
2 Thessalonians 2: 3-4.
Perhaps Our Lord was thinking of that moment when he warned us:
“So when you see the abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel, standing in the holy place (let the reader understand), then let those who are in Judea flee to the mountains;”
Matthew 24: 15-16
Apparently there is going to be a moment when the forces of evil will appear to be in control of the Church. What are we supposed to do? Fleeing to the mountains, to the solid teachings of the Apostles and the Fathers of the Church seems like a good idea to me. Those who have always been there don’t have to run much of a distance. For those “in the peripheries” it may be advisable to hurry up. My point is coming soon, please bear with me and keep these things in mind.
So far we have concluded that separation from God through sin exposes us to the powers of evil. That goes for the Church, the world, and every individual. The errors of Modernism lead to that end. Again, I am not making this up. Read Pascendi Domini Gregis if you have any doubts. As we wander away from God’s love (charity) we produce the fruit of anger. When we decide to love God and seek his company, we produce the fruit of joy. Again, I am not making this up: St Thomas Aquinas wrote quite a lot about the matter. So, when we look around and everyone is miserable and sad, is because individuals and society have wandered away from God’s company. Why should anyone do such thing? Because the Church also has wandered away from God’s charity. And the Church made that mistake because the enemy has managed to divert the focus of her attention away from God. Where to? It really does not matter. One of the great principles of Hell is to direct the attention of the damned to anything but God. The road to perdition is wide, there are plenty of distractions, and lots of company. Those who want salvation have to constantly look for obstacles in the narrow path, and focus on their destination straight ahead.
One of the subtle ways the enemy has to distract us consists in having us pay attention to problems we cannot resolve. One of the most damaging is the sin of Uzzah. Remember that man in 2 Samuel 6 that was instantly killed when he touched the Ark of the Covenant? He thought the Ark was falling waysides but forgot that no one should actually touch it. Well … as the abominations in the upper echelons of the Church multiply, it is natural that we conclude we have to do something about it. Yes we can do certain things: we can pray, we can teach others (our children!) good doctrine, and most of all we can bear the Church.
If it hurts your heart to see sacrilege, heresy, profanation, lies, skulduggery, immorality, sodomy, and a whole sad list of other shameful actions; you are in the right place. That does not make you the Pope, though. That does not mean that God is out on vacation and left you in charge. God has permitted this mess to develop so we can complete in our flesh the sacrifice of Christ in Calvary –See Colossians 1:24.– We must suffer the Church as Jesus did. That is an awesome privilege, folks. Imagine for one second what is to be crucified to a Roman cross while your friends deny you, run and hide; your priests insult you; and all the people you’ve been feeding, healing, and comforting for three long years turn around and join your enemies in mocking you. Believe me, putting up for a few months with the antics of a heretical curia is not that bad in comparison. Bear the Church, suffer the Church but not for one minute ever believe that you are going to fix this situation. We cannot fix ourselves, how are we going to fix the Church? Beware of pride. Fr Chad Ripperger has some interesting talks on these themes.
St Thomas Aquinas teaches that when our will is perfectly ordered towards God we are at peace. We know God is in control. Let others scream to the sky and have panic attacks when things don’t go their way. We have read the book, we have been warned, we know God wins in the end. Relax and do what you are supposed to do: repent (that is stop wandering away from God, and start moving nearer to Him) and believe in the good news. Believing the good news includes sharing with others these good things we have: the nearness of God, the peace that comes from it, our focus on God’s purpose, the joy of living in him. If we can achieve that, the rest will fall into place. Faith in the power of God is the name of the game.
Back to the bronze Crucifix: the Miraculous Tilma with the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe was hanging on the wall behind the altar. A huge bronce Crucifix was the only thing between the Tilma and the powerful dynamite load that Luciano Perez was about to deposit there. There was enough of it to blow up the whole place. In fact, windows were shattered all over the hill when it exploded. Luciano Perez readied the detonator, placed the explosives and the flowers where he thought would do more damage, and left. After the explosion the Tilma was found untouched. The Basilica was nearly destroyed and the solid bronze Crucifix was bent by the force of the blast.
The final result: another miracle. No one can explain how the tilma was left unscathed. Have you noticed something unusual about the name of the perpetrator? He has the same name of St Luke (Lucanos/Lucianus) whom I strongly suspect is the celestial artist who painted the Image. But to learn about that you’ll have to read the book. Perhaps the Devil wanted to use a “Luciano” to destroy the work of an artist also named that way? Luciano means “surrounded by light” –the image of Our Lady of Guadalupe is surrounded by light, mind you– and that turns the whole terrorist attempt into a diabolic joke where the builder and the destructor bear the same name.
Miraculously, the humble Tilma sustained no damage. In the same manner, the Church will survive the current crisis. The unrepentant heretics will not. Let us pray for them, and hope God will give us a hand, because “unless there is supernatural intervention” our Church would be lost. We can trust divine help is on the way and that will arrive right on time.
Please remember to pray for (and if possible donate to) this ministry during Lent season.
The office divinely committed to us of feeding the Lord’s flock has especially this duty assigned to it by Christ, namely, to guard with the greatest vigilance the deposit of the faith delivered to the saints, rejecting the profane novelties of words and oppositions of knowledge falsely so called. There has never been a time when this watchfulness of the supreme pastor was not necessary to the Catholic body; for, owing to the efforts of the enemy of the human race, there have never been lacking “men speaking perverse things” (Acts 20:30), “vain talkers and seducers” (Titus 1:10), “erring and driving into error” (2 Timothy 3:13). Still it must be confessed that the number of the enemies of the cross of Christ has in these last days increased exceedingly, who are striving, by arts, entirely new and full of subtlety, to destroy the vital energy of the Church, and, if they can, to overthrow utterly Christ’s kingdom itself. Wherefore We may no longer be silent, lest We should seem to fail in Our most sacred duty, and lest the kindness that, in the hope of wiser counsels, We have hitherto shown them, should be attributed to forgetfulness of Our office.
Pope St Pius X, Pascendi Domini Gregis, Introduction.