While the Eyes of the Great Are ElsewhereAuthor: William L Biersach
Publisher: Tumblar House
Publication Date: January 31, 2005
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In the words of Mr Biersach: "This little tome - or collection thereof-is intended as a word of encouragement for those Catholics who, against all odds, are attempting to hold on to their Faith for dear life, or perhaps trying to rediscover it in the midst of the rumbling chaos... " And in the words of his good friend, Charles Coulombe: "Our fate . . . begins with our reply to that question asked of His disciples by Jesus Christ and continually referred to by Mr. Biersach in this book: "Who do you say that I am?" Mr. Biersach not only shows us in many ways how we must answer that question, but why we must. Moreover, he does so joyfully. The message he brings us is good news; there is a way out of this world of sin and shadows, and our eternity can be unparalleled bliss. That being so, Mr. Biersach bids us, as would his patron St. Phillip Neri, to begin the quest for Paradise with hope, with happiness, and with humor. Never, in this writer's admittedly short experience (a mere four decades), has his message been so timely and so needed."
EXCITING TIMES INDEED.
In the decades since the close of Vatican II we have seen a decline in the Catholic Faith such as history has never imagined. Decline did I say? Collapse might be a better word. Disintegration. Pick your favorite synonym for the debacle we have witnessed in our generation. It’s enough to make the stout of heart tremble and the otherwise docile sinfully furious.
If my reader is blinking with puzzled eyes—“What are you talking about? Everything looks fine to me!”—it’s time for a Reality Inventory.
Simply put, we faithful Catholics have been defrauded of our religious heritage by those who were called to protect it: our popes, bishops, theologians, priests and nuns. We have been deprived of the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass as it was celebrated for centuries, unchanged in its essentials since the reign of Pope Gregory the Great (590-604 AD). The defined morals, dogmas and doctrines of the Roman Catholic Faith have been obfuscated by an influx of modernist theologians and scholars who seek to undermine all that ever made the Church transcendent and holy. And now the bishops and priests who orchestrated this tragedy are falling like so many dried leaves, tossed upon the fire not on account of manly sins for which we can summon some degree of compassion, but putrescent perversions such as pedophilia for which we can only feel revulsion and nausea. Catholic parents are pulling their children out of their own parish schools in droves to protect them from the pagan frenzies of nuns-turned-witches, deeming the burdens of home-schooling preferable to the dangers of exposure to Sister Aphrodite of the New Crystalline Age.
Yes, I’d say these are exciting times.
And guess what? You and I are invited by Divine Providence to live during them. And get this: the tickets are non-refundable.
What’s to be done? Well, if you’re like most people—including me—your first impulse is anger. A draught of righteous fury has its medicinal value, but do not forget:
Be angry, and sin not. Let not the sun go down upon your anger.
In other words, get ferocious and be done with it. Express your outrage and then let it go like sand through your fingers. Do not harbor your wrath. Do not let dark thoughts eat their way into your soul like smoldering worms.
Put ye on therefore, as the elect of God, holy, and beloved, the bowels of mercy, benignity, humility, modesty, patience:
Bearing with one another, if any have a complaint against another: even as the Lord has forgiven you, so do you also.
But above all these things have charity, which is the bond of perfection:
And let the peace of Christ rejoice in you abundantly …
Remember that God requires of us not just to be right, but to be holy. If the state of the Church—or rather our reaction to it—causes us to sin, we are doing ourselves a disservice by our lack of charity and are contributing to the problem rather than the solution.
So, our anger being expressed and assuaged, the next step is to focus our energy on prayer. When all is said and done, our primary duty is not to bemoan the ills of the world but to save our souls. We cannot help save anyone else until our personal piety is intact. Prayer is our only true weapon; prayer and humble devotion. All else is dust in the wind; or worse, baubles in the enemy’s purse. God gave us knees—let’s use them.
Thirdly, having accepted these exciting times as God’s curse against a faithless generation, I suggest we turn our attention to the blessings which Grace provides in ages of upheaval. It is in times such as these that God raises up Saints. We would not have examples like Sts. Francis of Assisi, Ignatius of Loyola, Thomas More and Athanasius if not for exciting times. It is from the likes of us that God will do likewise in these tumultuous days. So don’t just get angry, get excited! Many Saints looked to our day with longing, yearning to stand up for the Lord of Hosts against the forces of evil. They are backing us with their prayers. How thrilling! How utterly glorious!
Ponder the exhilaration that permeated King David’s soul as he wrote:
For though I should walk in the midst of the shadow of death, I will fear no evils, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff, they have comforted me.
Thou hast prepared a table before me against them that afflict me. Thou hast anointed my head with oil; and my chalice which inebriateth me, how goodly it is!
And lest all this bombastic militaristic language troubles some of us, we may rest assured that we spring from a long line of valiant soldiers. We are the Church Militant, after all; but our weapons are not of iron and steel, but of sterner stuff:
Therefore take unto you the armour of God, that you may be able to resist in the evil day, and to stand in all things perfect.
Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of justice,
And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace:
In all things taking the shield of faith, wherewith you may be able to extinguish all the fiery darts of the most wicked one.
And take unto you the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit (which is the word of God).
William L. Biersach was born in Pasadena, California, on the Feast Day of St. Philip Neri, the "Laughing Saint", in 1953. A product of Catholic grammar and high school, he naturally lost his Faith when the effects of Vatican II came rattling through the world like a maniacal jalopy in the 1960's and 70's. He found his way back to Traditional Rome in 1993 and has been active in trying to reacquaint Catholics with their own religion ever since. The Endless Knot is the first of his Father Baptist novels. He is currently working on the rough draft for the sixth book in the series. He resides in a stone house somewhere in Southern California, likes spicy food, and hopes to retire in Heaven some day.