Look at what is happening in the Church and in these USA. A visual image.

I’ve been on the phone talking and texting for a good portion of the day.  A lot of people I know are feeling a bit grim right now, but they know that this world is passing.

Tonight I was sent a video.

Look at what is happening in the Church and in these USA, in both the (supposedly) sacred sphere and in the (ever more) secular: the relentless terrorizing from the press and civil authorities about COVID, the unfathomably large goat rodeo that is federal government, budget, and the national debt, motu proprios and interviews and transcripts with Jesuits, wokeness and race theory and the incessant slithering of the homosexualist agenda, … a visual image is needed.

Inexorably destroying everything good and orderly in its path.

Hmmm… the Spanish PM isn’t in hiding somewhere.

I’ll add some points I’ve made before many times on this blog.  They bear repetition.

I. Of all the universes God could have created, He created this one, into which He called us into existence at exactly the right point in time and with exactly the right set of tools to carry out our little piece of His overarching, divine Plan. If we dedicate ourselves to our state in life, as it is hic et nunc, here and now, God will give us all the actual graces we need to fulfill our part in His economy of salvation. It is an honor to have been called by God to live in these difficult times.  WE are the team He has assembled for His purposes hic et nunc.  Fidelity and the pursuit of His will bring greater graces than if our paths were smooth.

II.  Popes come and go.  There have been good Popes and bad Popes, important Popes and forgettable Popes.  Men pick them, not the Holy Spirit.  The Holy Spirit’s role in their election is to make sure that the Pope isn’t a total disaster for the Church.  Some disaster, maybe.  Total disaster, never.  Moreover, generations of faithful Catholics lived and died without even knowing the Pope’s name.   In a lot of ways, in daily life, they just aren’t that important.  Modern communication our perception, and the media changed the role.  That said, the RUACH hasn’t stopped either in the Church or in your soul.  The day to day is what you need to work on.

III. For priests, especially…. learn the Traditional Latin Mass.  Time and again, priests have told me that learning the TLM changed them profoundly.  They began to grasp aspects of their priesthood which they hadn’t gleaned before.  In turn, that produces a knock on effect in other aspects of their work, in particular how they celebrate the Novus Ordo.  Congregations note the differences.  The knock on effect continues to knock.  This will be for you a suit of armor.   You can tell how important it is by how much certain people are afraid of it and work to shut it down, denigrate it with utterly absurd claims that both the Rite itself and people who desire it are at odds with an Ecumenical Council.  They are practitioners of The Big Lie.  We must persevere.

IV.  For priests, seminarians, lay people alike… consider your CONFIRMATION. Confirmation strengthens us to make the hard call and then stand firm when we are challenged in our Christian living.  We can call upon the power of this sacrament, which has imparted an indelible character, like the potter’s mark of ownership, into our souls.  Confirmation is an ongoing reality in our lives just as the Pentecost event is an ongoing reality in the Church. In these troubled and troubling times, make a conscious choice to call upon that mighty sacrament you received.  Activate it. The sacrament will be mighty in you when you are in the state of grace.    A daily prayer HERE.


About Fr. John Zuhlsdorf

Fr. Z is the guy who runs this blog. o{]:¬)
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  1. Midwest St. Michael says:

    Fr. Z says: “A lot of people I know are feeling a bit grim right now, but they know that this world is passing.”

    This is exactly why I have been praying the following prayer from the Companions of St. Anthony prayer book since… well, 2013.

    Father of all mercies and God of consolation, You love us eternally and transform the shadows of death into the dawn of life. Look upon our grief; be our refuge and comfort so that our sadness and sorrow may turn into the light and peace of Your presence. In dying, Your Son destroyed death; in rising, He restored life.

    Grant that at the end of our earthly pilgrimage we may be found in His company with our brothers and sisters. There, You shall wipe away every tear. We ask this through Christ our Lord. Amen.

  2. Irish Timothy says:

    We live in troubled times. That being said this post is as positive, to the point and simplistic in what we must do. It shows all of us, again, the fact that GOD OUR FATHER ALMIGHTY decided each of us are to be on earth at this time as Father says. Thank you Fr. Z for this excellent and to point post once again!!!

  3. summorumpontificum777 says:

    Father Z’s points here are good and true, of course. Ultimately, yes, all we can do is pray and go to confession and do the best that we can for our own souls, our own parishes and our own families.

    And yet it’s hard to look away. It’s hard not to notice the extraordinary, unprecedented circumstances in which we find ourselves. It seems that the summer surgery and the issuance of Traditionis Custodes marked the beginning of a new phase. The masks are off. The gloves are off. Scores are being settled. And, let’s face it, things are getting really weird. Temperate, cautious EWTN is denounced as in league with the devil while “sexual diversity” (a euphemism for sodomy) is embraced. As a famous Shakespearean character once said, something is rotten in the state of Denmark.

  4. Semper Gumby says:

    Solid post Fr. Z, excellent points.

    Meanwhile near the Dead Sea…

    On Monday several archaeologists from Trinity Southwest University in Albuquerque excavating near the Dead Sea published an article in Nature magazine titled:

    “Tunguska sized airburst destroyed Tel el-Hammam a Middle Bronze Age city in the Jordan Valley near the Dead Sea”

    The Middle Bronze Age is roughly the Age of the Patriarchs. I haven’t yet read past the Abstract, which begins:

    “We present evidence that in?c.1650 BC (c.3600 years ago), a cosmic airburst destroyed Tel el-Hammam, a Middle Bronze Age city in the southern Jordan Valley northeast of the Dead Sea.”

    Several newspapers yesterday dusted off their Sodom and Gomorrah files and noted the Nature article.


    Perhaps the archaeologists at Tel el-Hammam are on to something here. Time will tell. Here’s the dig’s website and a list of publications:


    A bit more detail from Nature magazine:

    “A city-wide?c.1.5m thick carbon-and-ash-rich destruction layer contains peak concentrations of shocked quartz (5–10 GPa); melted pottery and mudbricks; diamond-like carbon; soot; Fe- and Si-rich spherules; CaCO3 spherules from melted plaster; and melted platinum, iridium, nickel, gold, silver, zircon, chromite, and quartz. Heating experiments indicate temperatures exceeded 2000C.

    “An airburst-related influx of salt (c. 4 wt.%) produced hypersalinity, inhibited agriculture, and caused a?300-600-year-long abandonment of c. 120 regional settlements within a?25-km radius.”

    This should be interesting reading, as biblical archaeologists tend to assume the sites of Sodom and Gomorrah would be at the southern end of the Dead Sea rather than the northern.

  5. Semper Gumby says:

    In 2004 a faithful Catholic, Italian Rocco Buttiglione, withdrew as a nominee for a top post in the European Union after it became clear that the European Parliament would not approve him. Buttiglione referred to a lava-like “creeping totalitarianism” which must be resisted. Buttiglione’s treatment by the EU likely played a small part in the 2005 rejection by French and Dutch voters of the treaty meant to establish a European Constitution- a problematic Constitution which among other things refused to recognize Europe’s Christian heritage. So creeping totalitarianism need not be inexorable.

    Last year it was “two weeks to slow the spread,” now it’s abusing children with masks, Australian police using non-lethal bullets to shoot protesters in the back, lies about several helpful drugs, and Death Party politicians ignoring their own mask mandates. Last year after an obviously corrupt election and perfectly reasonable and perfectly American calls for audits, the Death Party responded with threats of reeducation camps, firing squads, and the deportation of Trump voters to Afghanistan.

    Creeping totalitarianism need not be inexorable. Creeping lava is a force of nature, not much can be done about it other than stout barriers and massive amounts of water to alter its course a bit or slow it a little. Creeping totalitarianism is the work of disordered minds and souls, quite alot can be done about that.

  6. Semper Gumby says:

    This reminds me (and I’m not advocating for Civil War II to resolve our current predicament), in 1935 a geologist in Hawaii called in an air strike on a volcano.

    “That Time General Patton Bombed a Live Volcano
    Did it work as intended? Hard to say. Was it cool? Extremely.”


    I think Patton was a staff officer in Hawaii at the time and handled the request, he probably didn’t actually command the Army Air Corps squadron.

    Another look at this curious matter:


    ‘Merica. And today we got not only high explosives, we got Chuck Norris.

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  8. Semper Gumby says:

    One reason for our current predicament is the “long march through the institutions.” This means subverting and eventually, the following words are Barack Obama’s, “fundamentally transforming America” by gradually taking over the government, media and academia. The “long march” phrase itself has been variously attributed to the Italian Marxist Antonio Gramsci, the Frankfurt School, and German Marxist Rudi Dutschke.

    While resisting the long march, it is certainly helpful not to be, the term is probably Lenin’s, a “Useful Idiot”- an unwitting accomplice of Marxists.

    Here’s an example.

    Several days ago while former Pres. Bush was speaking in California a veteran (thank you for your service) and now anti-war activist in the audience named Michael Prysner stood up and yelled for about a half-minute.

    One sample from the rant, after the usual ignorant bellowing about “9/11” and “WMDs” Prysner yelled: “You sent me to Iraq! You sent me to Iraq in 2003! My friends are dead!”

    Prysner volunteered to join the Army, he willingly swore an Oath to obey lawful orders, his military friends were friends only because they too volunteered and swore an Oath. Prysner may be exploiting his dead friends for a cheap political stunt.

    – Prysner hosts the “Eyes Left” podcast with Spenser Rapone. Rapone was given an other-than-honorable discharge from the Army after an investigation initiated after Rapone, on his West Point Graduation Day, wore a Che Guevara T-shirt under his uniform and displayed a note reading “Communism Will Win” tucked inside his cap.

    – The day Rapone left Ft. Drum, he posted an image of him displaying a middle finger to the fort’s main gate, captioned “One final salute” and “Rudi Dutschke cannot fail.”

    – Prysner is a member of the revolutionary Party for Socialism and Liberation. PSL has close ties to the often anti-Semitic International ANSWER.

    – Prysner is married to one Abby Martin, a radical journalist, 9/11 conspiracy theorist, and who has cooperated (beyond a lawsuit in Georgia) with the Islamist Council on American-Islamic Relations (a fair example of the “Red-Green Alliance” of Leftists and Islamists).

    Yesterday, a Republican candidate for Congress in 2022 from Washington state, veteran Joe Kent (thank you for your service), used his Twitter account to further circulate a video of Prysner’s rant. Kent captioned that video with this:

    “This should happen everywhere Bush goes until he just stays on his ranch & colors pictures.”

    Kent, a Republican candidate who appears to be pro-liberty and anti-lockdown, is demanding that others prevent a man from speaking and then be lock-downed simply because Kent hates him politically. Also, Kent is apparently ignorant of why former Pres. Bush paints, and how his paintings are helpful to veterans.

    A long decade is probably ahead of us. Obsessive rage and being a Useful Idiot is unhelpful. Better is expected of a former Green Beret and Republican candidate for Congress. No doubt Kent is capable during his political campaign of appealing not to street thuggery, but to the better angels of our nature.

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  10. Semper Gumby says:

    Socialism and Islamism are not inevitable. But, any resistance based on rejection of historical facts, ego-driven agit-prop, conspiracy theories and obsessive or psychotic rage against a particular individual will founder.

    The Cold War was not won by passive “containment” but by Pres. Reagan, St. John Paul II and P.M. Thatcher rejecting containment and cooperating in prudent confrontation.

    From the Times of Israel yesterday.
    Over 300 prominent Iraqis publicly call for full peace with Israel

    Hundreds of Iraqi leaders and activists gathered in the country’s Kurdistan region on Friday to publicly call for full normalization with Israel.

    The group, which includes Sunni and Shiites, youth activists and tribal leaders, said the next step after the dramatic announcement would be to seek “face-to-face talks” with Israelis.

    We demand that Iraq join the Abraham Accords [2020] internationally,” wrote Wisam al-Hardan, leader of the Sons of Iraq Awakening movement, in The Wall Street Journal on Friday. “We call for full diplomatic relations with Israel and a new policy of mutual development and prosperity.”

    The Sons of Iraq formed organically in 2005 as tribal leaders in Anbar province and ex-Iraqi Army officers allied with US forces to fight al-Qaeda.

    “Some of us have faced down ISIS and al-Qaeda on the battlefield,” wrote Hardan. “Through blood and tears we have long demonstrated that we oppose all extremists, whether Sunni jihadists or Iran-backed Shi’ite militias. We have also demonstrated our patriotism: We sacrificed lives for the sake of a unified Iraq, aspiring to realize a federal system of government as stipulated in our nation’s constitution.”

    God bless Pres. Bush and Pres. Trump.

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  13. Semper Gumby says:

    The following clip in under five minutes deftly touches on: Just war and Rightful Intention; jus ad bellum and jus in bello; the Family; Terror and Evil; Tranquillitas ordinis; Defense contractors good and bad; money, profit and R&D; building better body armor and “Simultaneous Good.”

    “Going to War for the Right Reasons” – Jocko Willink

  14. Semper Gumby says:

    Socialist regimes tend to be evil: the Soviet Union of Lenin and Stalin, Hitler and National Socialism, Saddam Hussein and Ba’ath Party socialism.

    The following post and comments contrast the thoughtful tradition of Just War Theory with the thoughtlessness of last year’s Vatican essay (“Fratelli Tutti”) attacking Just War.


    Two brief excerpts:

    “Fr. Z wrote: “The [Fratelli tutti] encyclical says that wars are bad. I think we can agree. He therefore concludes that nothing justifies any war. I don’t think we can agree.””

    “Catholic Just War Theory is a valuable tool. It’s purpose is to limit both warfare and casualties.”

    Later in the discussion there are comments on why a U.S. led-Coalition gathered in 2003 to defeat the Saddam Hussein regime, and on nuclear weapons and Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

  15. Semper Gumby says:

    Judy McCloskey, May 31, 2010, CatholicMil dot org:

    “US Navy SEAL Michael Monsoor was 25 years old the day an insurgent’s grenade hit him in the chest and landed on the ground in front of him, effectively blocking the only exit for him and eleven others on mission in the Ma’laab district of Ramadi, Iraq. With the grenade’s fuse too short to toss out, Monsoor chose to give his life so that others might live. The only one who could have saved himself, Petty Officer Second Class Monsoor instead shielded the others- three US Navy Seals and eight Iraqi soldiers- by throwing himself on the explosive.

    “Born in 1981, Michael was of Christian Arab descent and a devout practicing Catholic. The son of a Marine, Michael was drawn to the special operations elite force of US Navy SEALs.

    “Upon reporting for duty in Ramadi, Petty Officer Second Class Monsoor immediately sought out the Catholic chaplain and went to Confession. Prior to each of Monsoor’s eleven missions, he attended Mass. He lived another thirty minutes after his body bore the brunt of the explosion, just long enough to be evacuated to the battalion aid station and die in the presence of his confessor, US Army chaplain Capt. Fr. Paul Anthony Halladay. Fr. Halladay knew Monsoor as “a man with a depth of courage and spirituality.” All this transpired September 29th, 2006, the Feast of the Archangels St. Michael, St. Raphael, and St. Gabriel.”

    “At the invitation of CatholicMil, public intellectual and theologian George Weigel wrote an article for his syndicated column entitled “Michael Monsoor: Martyr of Charity?” In it, the author considered similarities between the sacrifice of MA2 Monsoor and the sacrifice of St. Maximilian Kolbe.”

    Archbishop Salvatore Cordileone of San Francisco, on the 15th Anniversary of Michael Monsoor’s death: “Heroes and saints walk among us.”

  16. Semper Gumby says:

    “Petty Officer Second Class (SEAL) Michael A. Monsoor will receive the Medal of Honor posthumously in a ceremony at the White House April 8, 2008.”


    “The Navy’s newest Zumwalt-class destroyer, USS Michael Monsoor (DDG 1001), was commissioned Jan. 26, 2019 at Naval Air Station North Island.

    “Twenty gold star families and four Medal of Honor recipients witnessed the Navy’s second Zumwalt-class destroyer enter the fleet.

    “Sally Monsoor, Michael Monsoor’s mother, served as the ship’s sponsor and delivered the time-honored first order to “man our ship and bring her to life!” The crew of 148 officers and enlisted personnel were joined by servicemembers who served with Monsoor in Ramadi as they raced aboard to man the rails and watch stations.”


  17. Semper Gumby says:

    There is a rough comparison that can be made between the lava-like flow of barbarians who flooded the decadent Roman Empire in the 5th century, and today’s re-paganization of politics, education and entertainment that is flooding the minds of adults and children.

    That said, Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, before he became Pope Benedict XVI in 2005, spoke occasionally of the Catholic Church as a “creative minority.” A brief look at the “creative minority” as the Roman Empire collapsed:

    – Christian martyrs and the Roman Empire

    – the Desert Fathers; hermits and extreme asceticism; St. Anthony of Egypt; the origins of Christian monasticism

    – Fabiola, a wealthy Roman woman and Christian convert who founded the first hospital to care for the poor of the streets of Rome

    – The monks and monasteries of Ireland: severe asceticism; St. Patrick; scriptorium and the preservation of Greek and Latin texts; monastic schools; the shift among the Irish from pagan habits to Christian virtues

    – St. Augustine: a pagan convert then a bishop active daily in society; rebutted hostile pagans and concerned with a more enlightened politics; Just War; “sacramental character”; the four classic virtues of Cicero and the three Christian virtues; leadership by example

    – Pope Leo the Great: a priest of God and a statesman of ancient Rome; his encounter with Attila the Hun and leadership by example

    – the Irish evangelizing missions to Europe of St. Columba and St. Columbanus

    – St. Benedict: the moderately ascetic Benedictine Rule for monasteries and its widening influence; St. Benedict’s sister St. Scholastica and nuns; “ora et labora” and advances in agriculture and eventually science;

    – Liturgy; Gregorian chant; sacred art and architecture; pilgrimages and processions; the Great Commission and missionaries; “we are our Rites”

    To close this brief look, a quote from the 20th-century Catholic historian Christopher Dawson:

    “The Church had to undertake the task of introducing the law of the Gospel and the ethics of the Sermon on the Mount among peoples who regarded homicide as the most honorable occupation and vengeance as synonymous with justice.”

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