How long should one wait before trying to evaluate a certain event from the past?
Fifty years surely seems like a reasonable amount of time to do that.
December 8, 2015 marked the fiftieth anniversary of the closing of the Second Vatican Council. With the benefit of hindsight and by the grace of God, more and more souls have come to realise the connection between the current situation of the Church and the rotten fruits of Vatican II. As Our Lord says: A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit. (...) Wherefore by their fruits you shall know them (Matthew 7:18, 20).
This realisation, however, should be a starting point, not a goal in itself for Catholics. As His Lordship, Bp. Donald Sanborn shall aptly demonstrate in his sermon, the outcomes of the crisis brought forth by the heresies of Vatican II are indeed serious but not at all hopeless.
Although we are living in a time of extreme and unprecedented uncertainty in regards to the restoration of the Catholic Church, our hope should nonetheless be strengthened by the unfailing promises of Christ, regardless of how the present crisis shall be ultimately resolved by God. These divine guarantees pertain directly to the Holy Catholic Church, established by Jesus Christ as being both infallible and indefectible.
These and other precepts of our Holy Faith, either obscured or completely disregarded as a result of the implementation of Vatican II, are duly explained by Bp. Sanborn.
Although the crisis we find ourselves in can be undoubtedly described as unheard-of, Sacred Scripture, through the apostolic teaching of St. Paul, does warn us about the great apostasy from the Faith, which must take place before the end of the world. Bp. Sanborn accurately demonstrates the relevance of the 2nd Epistle of St. Paul to the Thessalonians for the present situation of the Church.
Interestingly enough, the culpability of the deceived in bringing upon themselves the operation of error has also been discussed by St. Augustine. Even history provides us with clues as to the chaos of the latter times since various enemies of the Church, both internal and external ones, have made their true intentions manifest throughout the ages.
His Lordship does not fail to explain what made the modernists so successful in wreaking havoc in the Catholic Church. We also should not be surprised at the state of affairs in the world and in the Church for the teaching of the Council of Trent makes it explicit that there are three specific conditions which must be met before the consummation of the world (one of them being a general apostasy from the Faith).
Naturally, as humans, we might be tempted to look at this current crisis in the Church from a purely human point of view, thus overlooking the supernatural order of things. Such an attitude has led the majority of those who profess to be traditional Catholics, as Bp. Sanborn rightly demonstrates, to seek bitter compromises with the modernists. His Lordship offers some reassuring advice on how to address this problem correctly and remain Catholic in a time when our human efforts seem insufficient or even pointless.
The topic of the next sermon delivered by Bp. Sanborn as part of Episode 14 of In Veritate is the observance of the fast in Lent.
The principal motive of each year’s season of Lent is penance which must necessarily be rooted in, and proceed from, genuine hatred of sin, that is contrition. Thus, the correct attitude towards Lenten penance consists of detesting sin wholeheartedly and resolving to eradicate the habits of sin that have developed in our souls over time.
As Bp. Sanborn points out, being content with one’s habits of sin, and failing to combat these, actually makes our sins of habit more deliberate, and is not only a matter of impeding one’s spiritual growth. The logical implication of penance and its inseparable element is the necessity of mortification. By mortifying our souls and our bodies, we engage in a struggle to remove the effects of original sin from our souls and make reparation for the actual sins we have committed. Since the vice of sin consists also in excessive preoccupation with oneself and our desires, forsaking our own will and suffering inconvenience is the essence of reparation we are obliged to offer God for our past iniquities.
Both the gravity of penance and the necessity thereof for salvation find their validation in the discipline of the Church. Isn’t it symptomatic that the naturalistic and man-centred Novus Ordo religion did away with the traditional Catholic rules of Lenten fast?
His Lordship provides a clear explanation of the Catholic law of fasting, warning us against some modern-day pharisaical practices for ‘outsmarting’ the rules of fast (not to be confused with reasonable causes for dispensation which are also covered in this sermon), as well as comparing the most recent discipline of the 1940s with previous Church law.
Practical advice is also offered that will help you make the sacred season of Lent a truly productive time in the supernatural sense of this word so that the spiritual progress you achieve through practicing Lenten mortifications may yield even better fruit in the months and years to come.
These sermons, audio remastered for the benefit of our listeners, can be found in Episode 14 of In Veritate.