The White Lily Blog

Perhaps It’s Not the End

It certainly seems that we are at the end of the world. We won’t be surprised at the popularity of that new film 2012, even with its really bad special effects and uninspired acting. People from all political and religious persuasions will flock to see it, because we are truly frightened now.

There are so many signs of gridlock–economic, social, cultural, and religious. Every value that once glued civilization together, from honesty, to fidelity to spouse, to fidelity to business contract, to the sanctity of the single human life, has fallen. Socialism has failed. Capitalism has failed. We seem to stand naked and small on the edge of a chasm filled with smoking hell.

But such fears need not be accurate. Rather than facing the end of civilization, we might be in fact only facing the end of the viability of the secular state.

We forget the secular state was only an experiment following the madness of the French Revolution; we forget to entertain alternatives. Some of us do not even realize we are in a secular state. We keep arguing that the constitution calls on God now and again, so why cannot we keep our crosses in our parks? Because we are a secular state!

Europe, too, formed by so many centuries in which the state and the Church partnered in meeting the needs of the flock, has not yet come to terms with the actual states they have erected on the ruins.

But perhaps the time has come.

Perhaps the time has come to suggest a third party that proposes to replace the secular state with a religious state imposing the values of Christianity,  while tolerating the values and exercise of other religions, with appropriate limitations, those limitations spelled out in the policies of the party platform. (Note it well: toleration is legally different from the absolute right to practice given by Vatican II and by our own secular constitution.)

The most obvious limitation would be the end to the killing of the unborn, the re-imposition of the protective mantle Christianity places around the human person. Christianity shares htis belief with some, but not all, other faiths.

Another platform item could be the reassertion of the traditional definition and purpose of marriage, which is reproduction, not personal pleasure.  We could thus roll back the changes the homosexualist mafia has imposed on the culture, and we could forbid the further free proselytizing through the media for the unhealthy, sterile gay life style.  Another plank could be an end to no-fault divorce. Another could be re-control of pornography. It would also be possible to re-position marriage as central to our culture by curtailing the “rights” other forms of casual unions have demanded, with legislation as simple as simply allowing landlords to refuse to rent housing to unmarried couples or companies to decline to extend benefits to them. If that seems harsh, consider how harsh it is to be an African-American woman now, whose chances of marriage are only one in seven. For those with good hair. For those with money. Here is the real racism.

Such a third party also has at its disposal a wealth of economic strategies loosely known as distributism and characterized by what one might describe as the opposite of globalism: decentralized ownership (made possible by taxation policies that penalize concentration of ownership–think higher taxes after the third pizza franchise, or limitations on inheritance). Some benefits would be lost–no one disputes that Walmart can offer cheaper prices, but neither is it disputed that the health of the community is better by somewhat more expensive commodities balanced by more available jobs and wider distribution of ownership.

The Catholic Church, as Michael Moore’s most recent movie highlights, has never been in bed with either unfettered capitalism or socialism, but instead favors a system in which class warfare is discouraged and classes are organized together into productive guilds where the needs of both capital and labor are met. The Church has considered neither profits nor wages outside the domain of state influence when curtailments benefited the common good; the caveat, as Pius XI pointed out in Quadragesimo Anno, is that the administration of these controls must be by a state with firm, immutable moral values. Our secular state fails that test, and thus that we are gridlocked. We simply cannot trust our state; it’s instinctual: we know our state will kill, because it has permitted the death of fifty five million babies in the last forty years. We know it lacks that bright good basic respect for people, we know its armies and police forces are capable of the most enormous and casual cruelties. We try to keep them hidden, but Abu Ghraib reveals the truth. What happened to the citizens after Hurricane Katrina reveals the truth (pick up Zietoun for a chill). What happens every day in our stalemated state and national legislatures reveals the truth. We have lost our way. The secular state has failed.

A third party such as this could find supporters outside Catholicism from what is left of protestantism. Muslims too understand the danger of a secular state, and it is arguable that Muslims would find life under a state with firm Christian religious principles preferable to life under an atheistic secular state that continually offends their deepest beliefs–such as ours does presently, with our depraved and completely legal lifestyles. That may be said about those Muslims living in our country. To Muslims in their own countries, some secular states, some religious, it might be a relief to be at war with invaders who at least do not set up their instant portable satellite dishes to beam pornography to their armies–who invite the new neighbors! ‘Here, take a look at freedom! Isn’t it grand?’ This happens!

Perhaps in the end it must be war with Islam. But the prospect of peace seems greater when these religious issues (the so-called ‘western lifestyle’ that drives Muslim mad are in fact religious issues, our lack of it, that is) are not the point, as they are made to be now.

Such a state might not find support, on the other hand, among all Catholics. Vatican II elevated the secular state above all, and there are those cognoscenti , those who really understand what the constitutions of Vatican II actually say under all the pretty words, who would still fight for secularism.  One cannot help thinking  that the “freedom” and “rights” lavishly granted in the constitutions of Vatican II were covers for the homosexual plague that immediately overtook the Church and has not yet abated. Yes, such “Catholics” might fight for secularism. Such a free ride as they have enjoyed is perhaps worth everything.

Would the ordinary Catholic, though, if he understood what is at stake, fight for the secular state? That is debatable. The ordinary Catholic on his ordinary blog, at least, is apparently bewildered by what he sees. He counts as Not-Catholic the position he views among pro-abort Catholic politicians.  He counts it as Not-Catholic the mixed dormitories and Vagina Monologues in Catholic universities where buddha has taken the place of Our Lady at the gate.  He counts as Not-Catholic those  “post-Christian” nuns who teach that Christ is only one of God’s sons,  rather than realizing they are merely the new Catholics unleashed by Vatican II. They say so, over and over (please see an earlier post, The Council Pow-Wow and Pro-life Catholics). Nor does the Vatican contradict the Nancy Pelosis and Ted Kennedys and Joe Bidens and the Sister Schneiders even as it laments abortion, even as it laments that Italy has taken down the crucifixes from the walls of the secular state Vatican II called for.

The ordinary Catholic is still asleep.

But he could be waked.

It goes without saying that nothing could be closer to this discussion than the talks soon to open between SSPX and the Vatican. For the secular state as addressed by Vatican II is on the table, whether Rome wishes it or no. SSPX knows what is at stake. They have sworn their fealty to Christ the King and no stinking sixties-intoxicated love affair with the secular state as typified by the United States will sway them. The word “freedom” does not make them swoon like disobedient schoolboys. They do not wish to be ‘free,’ they wish to be bound to the King.

Let us propose a third party. Our Lady’s Party. Our Lady’s Lions? Mary’s Martyrs? (It would come to that, have no doubt; even as I type it I expect the server to crash and Satan to fly in through the window. Oh wait, good: not yet.) Suggest something to call it and email me and volunteer. We could win. People are that fed up. We could have health care reform by forcing a constitutional amendment forbidding abortion and euthanasia. We could have prayer in schools (God knows they’ve tried everything else to help the appalling situation in education in this country!). We could fight successfully on so many fronts. We might not win elections (at least at first) but we could influence the discussion mightily, and that’s what third parties are all about. We might then suffer through our economic distresses poorer, but not more terrified that they are coming for us in the night.

Down with the separation between Church and state. We need a third, Catholic, party!

Down with the secular state. We need a third party!

Down with liberalism. We need a third party!  Let us hear again that ancient cry,

All hail to Christ the King!

6 Comments so far
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Dear Janet,

Greetings and I hope you are having a great day!

I was drawn to the title of your essay (“Perhaps It’s Not The End”) because so many times in my life I’ve thought that “The End” and I had, in fact, locked horns, but today I’m thrilled to recall how wrong I was! I agree with you, Janet, perhaps it’s not the end, after all! Life is great and if you are a baptized and confirmed Catholic, you carry in your heart the greatest treasures God can give.

This morning I put into action that idea you gave me a few days ago: To go visit a local parish, look around, make a phone call, write a letter. When I woke up today here was my first thought: “I’m going to the Holy Spirit Catholic Church for Mass. This is it. Today’s the day.”

I didn’t leave the house until the sisters and our chaplain were already well into the Mass downstairs and I hurried down the six flights with a pounding heart because I kept thinking that someone would stop me, but nobody did.

Out the door I flew, into a 2010 black Toyota Corolla; mileage: 10,333; looking at the world through different lenses, in a spirit of glee and mischief, if this makes any sense to you!

I shot past the girls’ academy, past the administration buildings, past the security booth, past our glorious Shakespearean Garden – making sure to give the noble bust of the Bard a beep on the horn as I did so.

“Did Shakespeare ever play hookey from church? You’re not playing hookey from church; you’re just going to a different Mass. It’s really not exciting. You really ARE pathetic, aren’t you? Yes, I am, and I wouldn’t have it any other way.”) Okay, there you have a sampling of my early morning thoughts.

I shot past the campus buildings and swerved to avoid two deer as they swiftly sailed across the road. Down the circular drive I go, onto Route 24, getting off before the New Jersey Turnpike, headed toward the city of Union, site of the Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church.

Huge parking lot, emerald green grass, white steeple just like the churches in Maine. I get out and enter the church with pounding heart, but much calmer and more sure of myself because I’m already here and I have a good ten minutes before the start of Mass.

What do I notice first? Beautifully waxed double-doors that are closed to the body of the church. Tables are lined against the wall with a vast array of pamphlets and cardboard pockets filled with self-help literature. A stack of white paper with a lovely red rose on the left-hand margin and a gold tabernacle on the right.

It’s just clip-art, but it’s very pretty, all the same, and its capital letters boldly proclaim: “Come for a Holy Hour of Adoration at Holy Spirit Catholic Church, Wed., September 1, at 7:00 p.m., where we will pray for an end to abortion.”

My heart starts pounding all over again; my thoughts are wildly colliding as I ask myself: “Can I go to this? Can I really go to this? Won’t school have already started? And at which university will I be teaching that day? If it’s at William Paterson University, I can’t go. If it’s at Kean University, I can do it.”

So my hands are sort of shaking because I WANT to go but I’m not sure if I can! I open up my wallet where I have my Fall Schedule inserted, and it’s a mini-miracle: I teach at Kean University on Wednesdays! It’s right on the way home from this church! My last class of the day gets out at 5:00; and this Holy Hour to pray for an end to abortion starts at 7:00! So I will be able to go!

I have never attended a Holy Hour to pray for an end to abortion; just to pray for an increase of vocations. Abortion is a touchy subject in the convent because most of the nuns are liberal Democrats who voted for Obama.

So anyway, I kept that white sheet of paper with the rose on it and I glanced through the pamphlets on the table: Rachel’s Vineyard; Planned Parenthood is NOT what you thought it was; Here are the FACTS you need to know about abortion and artificial contraception, etc. I took one of each to read later on.

I then opened the double-doors and at the back of the church, I saw a statue of Jesus with bare feet and holding up His hands to the beholder, as though begging US for OUR hearts! A dozen red candles flickered there, and for a dollar, you could light a candle, too. “Please, God, let me have a dollar,” I prayed, and there happened to be four calm, cool quarters in my purse, so I slid them in the coin slot and lit a candle for you, Janet, and for all of your special intentions. I knelt down and selected a candle that was closest to the feet of Jesus because I sensed that this could be your favorite place for praying: at the feet of Jesus.

Then I ventured into the body of the church and chose a pew closest to the tabernacle. What a lovely church! Beautifully painted white walls, stupendously high ceilings, pretty stained glass windows — my favorites were of the Wedding Feast of Cana and Jesus calling the Fishermen from their boat.

I’d say there were 30 people at mass, mostly white middle class, but many of the women looked Vietnamese, and there were a few African Americans in the congregation. Very quiet, very respectful, all saying their prayers on their knees before the start of Mass. There were a few outbursts of friendly chit-chat at the back of the church, but they were brief and the chit-chatters soon returned to prayer after they said their piece to each other.

By the way, I offered up Mass and communion for your intentions and for the continued success of your ministry. Not surprisingly, Mass was beautiful and the elder priest with white hair kindly deferred to the young priest (from South America?)who gave an inspirational homily on the subject of St. Monica.

After Mass, a group of nicely dressed ladies stayed behind and we all said the Rosary together, followed by some special prayers, including a prayer to St. Michael, the Archangel, and a prayer that pleaded for an end to abortion.

Once the Rosary and prayers were over, I went out to the car and drove to Kean University, where I will be teaching Monday, Wednesday, and Friday. I’ll be teaching at William Paterson University on Tuesday and Thursday. After parking the car, I headed for the University Center, and on my way, a lovely, tall African girl hollered out my name and came running towards me.

She was one of two Melissa’s I had in last semester’s Shakespeare Survey class. A delight of a girl! A beauty inside and out, and how she loved talking in class and giving her two cents’ worth about the sexuality of Shakespearean heroines!

Melissa was just bursting with good news this morning: “I’m engaged! I’m marrying Jordagno!” and then she flung out her beautiful hand and proudly displayed her diamond ring. My jaw dropped in astonishment and I made the suitable responses, including: “A classy ring for a classy girl. I wish you and Jordagno joy and long life. Where will you live?”

“In Elizabeth.”

“Near the port?”

“No, nearer a nicer section of the neighborhood, one that is family-oriented. You see, we want to have children as soon as possible, as soon as we both graduate from college.”

“It’s a stupendous world, Melissa, and I thank God for you and Jordagno! I thank God that young men and women are still getting married and having children and cherishing the value of the human family. God bless you!”

We went our merry ways and I then put in a few hours of semester preparation, but now I’m taking time out to write to you, Janet, and to describe my morning at the Holy Spirit Roman Catholic Church in Union, New Jersey.

Thank you for your suggestion that I visit a local parish! Wednesday evening, as I mentioned before, I will join in the hour of adoration to pray for an end to abortion. And so in closing, I will quote the last line of your essay: “All hail to Christ the King.”

God bless you. I pray for you. Wish me luck at dinner tonight, okay, because I can hear them now: “Where were YOU this morning? We haven’t seen hide nor hair of you all day long…My, but you certainly dashed out of the house early this morning, didn’t you?”

It doesn’t really matter, though, does it? All Hail to Christ the King! Living by these words is all that really matters. Thank you. I hope this rectangle is long enough to fit all of these words but if not, our hearts are united just the same.

Comment by Emily Gallery

Well, Emily, you managed to find a church completely out of sync with my attempted point in ‘Letter to Castrillon Hoyos,’ but I’m glad! I wish I were wrong on all counts. Your parish church has a tabernacle! And the chit chatters stopped! And you had not one, but two priests! And the homily was by one of them! This is really terrific news. Perhaps things really are changing.

And your car isn’t too shabby either! Girl, you got it going on. I appreciated the glimpse of your student, too.

I wonder if you’d care to go to the gathering of prayerers and sidewalk counselors outside one of your local abortion clinics, too, as well as eucharistic adoration? I go Saturday mornings, myself. It might be upsetting, so don’t entertain that suggestion very long if you feel you might get in over your head with the drama of it. That goes away after a while and it’s just work. Please pray for me and my companions, tomorrow’s Saturday. Eucharistic adoration has some drama, too, come to think of it.

Best of luck this school year, and thank you for your prayers.

Comment by thewhitelilyblog

Dear Janet,

Thank you for getting back to me and yes, I will certainly pray for you and your companions tomorrow as you fight to preserve life and innocence.

Wups! My managing to find a church was completely out of sync with your attempted point in ‘Letter to Castrillon Hoyos,’ and I’m SO glad you didn’t mind! What happens is I scroll down the long list of Archives and I have to keep opening them all up to find just where the original essay is that I’m responding to and then I can’t find it, so I jump in and insert my commentary underneath another essay that captures my attention in another way.

I am facing this same dilemma all over again, in fact. How I’ve been LONGING to reply to an article that discusses the importance of dressing properly in church, but I don’t know where that essay is anymore! There is nothing flighty about me, I am just not sure of myself in this arena, but I plan to “get there” before too long.

This coming Wednesday I will pray at the Holy Hour to save the unborn and I will ask Jesus what He wants me to do. I will ask Him if He wants me to pray outside a local abortion clinic on Saturdays, or at least to visit once to see what it’s like. I need to take it to prayer and then pray some more.

Truthfully, Janet, I am not sure where an abortion clinic is around here and I wouldn’t know how to find out or who to ask and the very notion of praying in front of an abortion clinic is shocking and intimidating, but underneath these words I am a very brave person and I often have an open mind, so yes, I will definitely think about all of this and pray with all of my heart.

The trick, I suspect, is to stop thinking about myself and to start thinking of the young mothers – of their agonizing fear – and to start thinking of the babies and the danger they’re in. Once the focus is off of myself and onto them, I’ll be able to think with a pure heart, or with a heart that is less impure.

This sounds cowardly, but it’s really fear that wants to let go of itself. Again, I will pray for you and your companions tomorrow and I thank you for writing back. Please, Janet, stay safe. God bless you and your ministry and the babies and their mothers. Thank you for listening.

With continued prayers….

Comment by Emily Gallery

Hi, dear Emily! I didn’t mean that your comment was out of sync with Letter to C-H (we’re getting awfully familiar with the fellow!) by commenting in the wrong place, but rather by finding the only Novus Ordo church in North America that is completely abuse-free and writing a delicious descriptive essay in response to my pointed invective. Actually I don’t think the church is abuse-free at all, but rather that Emily is abuse free, since she’s not so concerned about it, at least not yet. Your concern was with getting there, getting out of your comfort zone. And you did it. I don’t know what you’ll do next, once you connect all the dots and see that the LCWR is not an isolated phenom but the manifestation of a noxious plant with deeper and wider roots. And what it is doing is causing the loss of souls. We’re trying to save the babies at the mills, and losing them to the Girl Scouts later. (Planned Parenthood has the contract for their sexual education–here’s the name of one pamphlet: Young, Healthy, and Hot.)It’s a mess, girlfriend. I did enjoy your portrait of that sweet parish church. Listen, google ‘Fashion and Faith White Lily Blog’ and you ought to go straight to that article. It rambles! Now, if you want a field trip connected to that, you’ll have to google ‘SSPX chapels’ and find the one closest to you, and you’ll find traditional dressing for mass. Even at the indult chapels, where they celebrate the traditional mass by permission once a week or once a month, people often dress the way they do for the novus ordo. Which is any which-a way. But beware, once you visit an SSPX chapel you’ll be tempted to find out about their nuns, who wear full habits. Oh the Precious Blood habits! Oh, they were so beautiful! You don’t wear the habit, teaching at a secular college, right?

Comment by thewhitelilyblog

Dear Janet,

Thank you for your message! I am so glad that you and your companions got home safely from your prayer session on behalf of the unborn. Do you ever fear for your life? Are you ever scared to go? I think that you are noble and brave to fight for the babies and to do it week after week. I will keep praying for you and your ministry and for your safety.

Thank you for taking the time out to enlighten me further about my “out of sync” experience! Your knowledge of Novus Ordo churches and SSPX chapels exceeds my own, but as far as LCWR is concerned, I am well aware of the damage this organization has inflicted on the religious life of apostolic communities, and even on the Catholic Church as a whole. I have written a letter to Pope Benedict XVI voicing my objections to LCWR and asking him to remove from the LCWR its canonical standing. Ann Carey has been so kind as to proofread my letter and I made a couple of corrections based on her input, and once Sister On the Way has approved of it, I plan to mail it to the Holy Father, and to send copies to Cardinal Levada, Mother Millea, etc.

Oh, dear Janet, how I wish that we could sever ourselves permanently from LCWR! Do you think that we stand a chance of this ever happening? I mean, if there’s an LCWR Doctrinal Investigation going on, does that not mean that there is at least a chance that the voices of “traditional” and “conservative” women religious will be heard? So often it feels as though I live behind the Iron Curtain – inside a Communist country – because the domination of LCWR is so great in my daily life. But I remember that you said in an earlier commentary that the influence of LCWR began when you were in formation, so they have been in power even before they were known as LCWR, and the longer people are in power, the less inclined they are to let go of it, wouldn’t you say?

Thanks for giving me the “Fashion and Faith White Lily Blog” connection! Hooray!! I don’t have to keep on scrolling down to find it!! Oh, by the way, you’re right: teaching at a secular university means that I do not wear the habit, but I wish I could. Who am I kidding, though?! Even if I were so blessed as to teach at our very own Catholic college here on the Mother House grounds, I still would not be wearing a habit because the sisters dispensed with them over 20 years ago and that’s when vocations stopped and they refuse to make the connection! Hard to believe, but it’s true!

Thank you for listening! I am pretty good at connecting the dots, by the way, and I am very concerned with abuses that could be going on in Catholic Churches, but honest, that Holy Spirit parish in Union, New Jersey, was just great and the fact that they are so adamantly against abortion means that they would rather please God than man, wouldn’t you say? God bless you and have a beautiful Sunday!

Comment by Emily Gallery

Emily, it’s five am, and this won’t be all I want to say to you about the many ideas in your comment, but just want to note this: you are good at connecting the dots, but you haven’t connected them all yet. My proof is that you are still going to the new mass and still could say, ‘the fact that they [Holy Spirit parish] are so adamantly against abortion means that they would rather please God than man.’ I used to be in both conditions myself, and not that long ago! Regarding the mass, you just don’t understand yet. You just don’t feel how it’s the fuel for LCWR’s torch. It’s liberalism’s eucharist, feeding liberalism. It’s not God centered, it’s man centered. Step back and read the words like an English teacher! Before you read Fashion and Faith, read
If you do the numbers implied there–it is simply Catholic teaching regarding the sacrifice of the mass– and believe the world needs the graces that mass gives, you will connect our present social situation to the liturgy, and you won’t go back into Holy Spirit parish (or any other novus ordo mass) until they restore the mass that saves the world.

And no, Emily, being pro-life isn’t the litmus test. I personally know fascist atheists who would make abortion illegal. Fascism historically in fact was anti-abortion. Communism would have been, saw the implications at once they seized power, but because of the particular history of their struggle to power could not make it illegal. But communist party members were as anti-abortion as any Catholic. I knew them personally. I know venture capitalists who would make abortion illegal tomorrow. That’s because they see how population decline figures into our present economic situation. And not least, sincere protestants are pro-life — but Emily, their heresy hurts God more than that! Their heresy hurts the world more than their pro-life position helps it! Pro-life is not the litmus test! And bottom line: it’s easy to be pro-life. It’s easy to stand up for a cute little baby. It’s easy to stand out there comfortable in maturity and money and say to the women entering that clinic: don’t do it. Sure, it’s a little dangerous, just about as dangerous as joy riding and I did my share of that and would still. (Writer’s life, in my opinion.) You aren’t truly afraid for me. You’re envious. You wish you could be as daring. (BS.) But you have more sense.

So I believe you will eventually see the pattern and read the right books (Lefebvre’s They Have Uncrowned Him, Iota Unum, and the one whose name escapes me for the minute, it’s on the first blog page, the latest theologian) but you haven’t yet. They–I mean the theologians who most influenced Vatican II– have changed the doctrine under the name of pastoral. That is what put Christ on the cross. The new mass goes along with it and feeds it. Support for ‘religious liberty’ that philosophically allows Nancy Pelosi and my old boyfriend Richard Durbin to vote for abortion, that goes along with it. Civil rights for homosexuality goes along with it (the Holy Father wrote that particular part himself when he was Prefect). But those are all just manifestations. It’s the doctrine. It’s the teaching on ecumenism, on the secular state, on evolution.

The closest SSPX traditional mass to you is in Patterson, about 18 miles via the parkway. They teach the whole Faith there and are going to restore it to the Church, or we are at End Times and don’t know it. You could switch to their nuns, they have several orders, and wear a habit, and not have the politics of the LCWR over you. THAT would be brave, Emily. And I probably would NOT BE THAT BRAVE. I do stupid little daring stuff, that I can write about.

Yes, happy Sunday, though. I mean it, I mean I feel it. I’m going to receive Our Lord, sing high mass in our choir, drop off an overhead projector for our school I got for a steal on Ebay, and chat with my best friend about her latest ventures into fashion and faith, because she likes to sew, too, and enjoys the ‘time out’ our membership in a traditional community gives us from the steady masculinization of the world. Thank you for your prayers. Can you stand me?

Comment by thewhitelilyblog

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