This article was previously published by The Lepanto Institute
It’s still the same old story …
“Salomon saith, There is no new thing upon the earth. So that as Plato had an imagination, that all knowledge was but remembrance; so Salomon giveth his sentence, that all novelty is but oblivion.” ― Francis Bacon, The Essays.
Early in the history of humanity the wisest of our ancestors discovered by intuition and observation that there was a universal Strength, the unstoppable Force that drives all Creation. They also noticed a sort of code of operations, a natural law that could be detected by man inside his own thoughts. In the West, the first they called God, the second was called Reason. After much thought, the Greeks began to think of both as Logos. In the Orient the idea of Tao emerged in some places while in other places men developed complex mythologies to explain the universe all around them. But all those representations were describing something perfect in an imperfect way. Wise men could sense and learn about Logos through its various manifestations but no one was able to fully apprehend it. Logos remained unseen until He decided to present Himself to mankind as a Man, a perfect man. One of the disciples closest to Christ defined it, his name was John.
In the beginning was the Word [Logos], and the Word [Logos] was with God, and the Word [Logos] was God. He was in the beginning with God; all things were made through him, and without him was not anything made that was made. In him was life, and the life was the light of men. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1: 1-5)
The consequences of that unfathomable insight are still developing and will continue to develop for centuries to come. The number of truths we can derive from that statement is perhaps nearly infinite because the Subject is infinite. There is one thing though that most thinkers neglect: that the realities in the realms beyond our comprehension can be represented in our mind as gods, myths, legends or lessons but will forever remain things foreign to our nature, impossible to apprehend fully. Saint Paul put it this way:
For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall understand fully, even as I have been fully understood. (1 Corinthians 13:12 RSVCE)
The enemy of God was familiar with those realities once because he inhabited a realm above our own, closer to God. Now, His ambition is to form a similar reality that will have him, the devil, as its own mighty god. His ideas and objectives are equivalent to what we call ‘madness’ on this side of reality. Fortunately for us, it is impossible for men to know that horror fully in this life. The damned will learn about it when they reach their destination: Hell.
In our days, the realms beyond are fighting an epic battle. God, Logos is represented here by the Church which He has identified mysteriously as His own body. We know that body (the Church Militant) for her most outstanding attribute: Truth. Logos himself told us He is the way, the truth and life. The other side is the perfect opposite of Logos: confusion, lies, and death.
Trees and their fruit
“Be war or ye be woo, knoweth your friend from your foo.” ― John Ball, Letter.
In this world we live in, those who understand what is going on can see that the devil frequently imitates the ways of Logos. Of course, that imitation is not perfect because the devil does not want to be good. He only uses the appearance of goodness to mask his own operations. Those who belong to him operate the same way to serve the devil’s purposes. That is how we can get to know them and avoid falling in a trap.
Christ (Logos as he chose to be revealed to us) taught us to make a very important distinction.
“Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing but inwardly are ravenous wolves. You will know them by their fruits. Are grapes gathered from thorns, or figs from thistles? So, every sound tree bears good fruit, but the bad tree bears evil fruit. A sound tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits. (Matthew 7:15-19)
From Christ’s instruction we can conclude that those being mislead by the devil will operate as their master producing only the appearance of goodness but failing to produce the right fruits. Reasonably, those following Christ will produce good fruits because they are followers of the Greatest Benefactor ever Who is all good Himself.
The good people of The Lepanto Institute invest a lot of time to research individuals and organizations acting under the appearance of being Catholic but producing fruits antithetical to Catholic truth. A Bishop or Priest promoting homosexuality as a way of life, or contraception, abortion, divorce, euthanasia, etc. (you get the idea without a full enumeration, I hope) would be betraying Catholic truth as taught to us by Christ’s Apostles. More so, an organization presenting itself as a lay or religious Catholic ministry could never promote anything opposite to Catholic truth.
There are two trees: the tree of the Spirit and the tree of the Flesh. Each one produces its own fruit. For the first:
But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. Against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23)
And for the second:
Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these; Adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness, idolatry, witchcraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wrath, strife, sedition, heresies, envy, murders, drunkenness, revelings, and such like: of the which I tell you before, as I have also told you in time past, that they which do such things shall not inherit the kingdom of God. (Galatians 5:19-26)
In this sad times we live in, men who serve the forces of darkness have been allowed to infiltrate our Church to destroy it from the inside. There are many books and articles describing how that happened. The fruits of such activities are quite evident in the Church today. The age of ‘liberation theology’ and the forced misinterpretations of the II Vatican Council did a lot of damage but failed to destroy the Church. So the enemy figured out a new strategy. Unscrupulous individuals discovered that very traditional organizations attracted the youth and also hefty donations from wealthy Catholics who wanted to help the Church return to its roots. So they figured they would throw a sheepskin on the old wolf and feign to be ultra-orthodox and adopt all the bells and whistles of Traditional Catholics. The idea was to attract young men (and if possible pervert them) and to use the generous donations of the faithful to finance their vices and devilish causes. The objective is twofold: to act as a money sponge diverting funds from authentic, faithful Catholic ministries, and to attract talented youngsters to use them for nefarious purposes mostly sexual in nature. I am sure you already detected fornication, lasciviousness, avarice, etc. in that mix. Those are not good fruits.
Once established, those organizations and individuals often attack and try to destroy those who are truly serving Christ. Judas Iscariot and his false concern for the poor is presented to us in the Gospels to teach us about those men. We must be very aware if we do not want to end like them. Ministering for Christ is not a business but a sacred duty.
But Judas Iscariot, one of his disciples (the one who was about to betray him), said, ‘Why was this perfume not sold for three hundred denarii and the money given to the poor?’ –He said this not because he cared about the poor, but because he was a thief; he kept the common purse and used to steal what was put into it. (John 12:4-6)
Going back to the beginning of this post, we will be able to discern the two faces of any given action by examining its fruits. The Iscariot needed to mask his real intentions with a coat of goodness. He wanted the money, he coveted it, he was an avaricious man first and an apostle of Christ later. In fact, he was false to his apostolate from the start because he served a different god: money. His avarice was manifested as a veiled accusation: “Surely that perfume could have been sold and the moneys given to the poor.” He was accusing Christ of indulging while neglecting the poor! That would have been bad enough but St. John reveals to us that he was “a thief” ―a man who had let his avarice corrupt his own soul― the rotten tree was already producing rotten fruit. The false concern for the poor was an excuse to feed his own vice. His false ministering for Christ was already rotting his soul and would eventually produce the treasonous act that would open Christ’s path to the Cross. Judas Iscariot was an infiltrate, a false apostle, an avaricious son of disobedience operating under the pretension of serving Christ.
What Judas Iscariot forgot was this: everyone serves God’s purpose. God knows all of reality. It is impossible to hide our real intentions from Him. Even if we are perfectly able to feign goodness on our side of reality, God knows very well who is motivating us from the other side. There are only two actors there: Logos or his enemy, the devil.
And just like Solomon said, “there is nothing new upon the earth” and the false operations of men bent on using the Church for their own personal purposes are nothing new. A nice coat of goodness and nobility covering not-so good and noble intentions. Most frequently those are one of the two original bad inclinations of the flesh: avarice of the flesh and avarice for power and money. When those rear their ugly heads on this side of reality we know very well who is pulling the strings from the other side.
The devil is mad. Those who serve him reflect that madness. To infiltrate the Church of God with the purpose of acquiring power or plunder her riches is pure madness. The puny actors in such abomination will end badly: “It is a dreadful thing to fall into the hands of the living God.” (Hebrews 10:31) Imagine mere men opposing the very Strength that moves the Universe!
Our part in this battle is to carefully discern how to remain at all times on God’s side. We do not want to follow those mad men into damnation. Their destiny is clearly described throughout the Holy Scriptures:
The sinners in Zion are afraid; terror has seized the hypocrites. Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? Who among us shall dwell with everlasting flames? (Isaiah 33:14)
At a time when infiltrates are weaponizing the just institutions and laws of the Church in a vain attempt to destroy her from the inside, we have to be more prayerful, more careful, more discerning than ever. We have to observe the fruits of a tree before tasting it. We have to make a sincere effort to know the eternal doctrines to the best of our ability. We must ask God for guidance in these terrible times. We are not going to casually walk through a time of crisis armed with the usual platitudes. This is a battle and the battleground is your own soul and the soul of the Church. Arm yourself spiritually.
Discern in hope
Be informed, discern all information prayerfully, be aware of false flag operations but most of all pray that you will serve God at all times without being deceived. Now that pestilence has made its ugly presence felt all over the world, be aware that one thing that precedes the arrival of Our Lord is pestilence. Do not ignore the warning but prepare to celebrate the arrival of your Creator, the One that will end this age of deception and death, the one that will unite Divine Reality with our own human reality. This will end well for those who are true to Him and abide in His peace.
God came from Teman,
the Holy One from Mount Paran. […]
Before Him went pestilence,
and plague followed close behind.
He stopped and shook the earth;
he looked and made the nations tremble.
The eternal mountains were shattered;
along his ancient pathways
the everlasting hills sank low. […]
I wait quietly for the day of calamity
to come upon the people who attack us.
Though the fig tree does not blossom,
and no fruit is on the vines;
though the produce of the olive fails
and the fields yield no food;
though the flock is cut off from the fold
and there is no herd in the stalls,
yet I will rejoice in the Lord;
I will exult in the God of my salvation.
God, the Lord, is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
and makes me tread upon the heights.
(Habbakkukk 3:3-6; 16-19)