Desolate Altars

“They therefore took up stones to cast at Him; but Jesus hid Himself, and went out from the temple.” St. John 8:59

These words end the gospel reading from yesterday’s Traditional Latin Mass. Yesterday was also the day that the draconian rules that private masses are outlawed in St. Peter’s Basilica. A centuries old tradition of priests being able to offer their daily masses on the many beautiful altars, many housing the bodies of great saints, today sat empty with neither priest nor faithful. Surely the Lord, and His sacrifice, has been driven from the temple. Throughout this post are photos taken this morning. These altars, were it not for these unjust rules, would have been, many times over, surrounded by the faithful, reverently assisting at the Masses of many priests. But that is no more. Christ has been driven from the temple.

I have to wonder if this is not somehow the beginning of the passion of the Church in earnest. Many prophets, seers, and even popes have foretold a time when the Church, the Body of Christ upon earth, would suffer her own passion. We have seen glimpses of this passion in the homosexual predation in the Church, the doctrinal confusion, the liturgical disaster which we have been subjected to, and the financial scandals we know so well, but it seems to me, that we are entering a new phase in the Passion of the Church. I am no prophet, but I am, in virtue of my priesthood, a watchman spoken of by the Prophet Ezekiel. The Lord God says through the prophet,

“But if the watchman sees the sword coming and does not blow the trumpet, so that the people are not warned, and the sword comes, and takes any one of them; that man is taken away in his iniquity, but his blood I will require at the watchman’s hand.” Ezekiel 33:6

I see the sword coming. Therefore, I must sound the alarm!

At Fatima, part of the third secret is the vision of an angel with a flaming sword that was flashing. The angel was about to strike the earth, but was stopped temporarily from doing so by our Lady. The angel then cried out, “Penance! Penance! Penance!” Maybe the time for the angel to strike the earth with its flaming sword is quickly coming upon us. Again, we who seek to be watchmen must sound the alarm when we see the sword approaching.

Of course, we do not know the future, but as our Lord warned, we must be able to read the signs of the times. What are the signs of the times? War, rumors of war, murders in the streets and more in abortion clinics. The false god of Pachamama was worshiped in the Vatican and St. Peter’s Basilica. Gay, drug filled orgies were held just feet away from St. Peter’s Basilica. A sharp rise in communism and socialism is evident. Political tensions are heating up around the world. Sex trafficking is at an all-time high, especially of children. Pornography is readily available on cell phones, and is enslaving many of teens and adults. I think it is safe to say that we, as a world, are far worse than the days of Noah and Sodom and Gomorrah.

To my eyes, the signs of the times are clear. The passion and purification of the Church is well deserved, and frankly, we need it. The time is ripe. When and how, we do not know, but I think, given the situation, the “if” is a foregone conclusion. How could anyone look at the world, and believe that God will sit by much longer.

Lest anyone accuse me of being a fear monger, or being a prophet of doom, this is all very good news! Yes, purification is difficult, but it is the only way for the Church to triumph once again in the radiance of her true beauty as the spotless bride of Christ. Purification brings joy, peace, and renewed purity. Just as Jesus underwent his cruel and bloody passion, then three days later, he rose victorious in glory, so will the Church, after her purifying passion, rise victorious and clothed in glory.

This is a lesson taught me by ALS. My flesh is dying. Each day it grows weaker, but all the while my soul is purified. Each suffering, each new “passion” I endure and offer up in union with the passion of the Messiah, will one day leave me so purified, that I will walk joyfully in the Kingdom of God. Of course, I could reject the grace given me in my own passion, but what a tragedy that would be! In the same way, you and I, as members of the body of Christ, the Church, can reject or accept our passion and purification.

The words of yesterday’s gospel, along with the sight of St. Peter’s Basilica so empty, so devoid of both priest and worshipper, should make us think long and hard about the passion and purification the Church, and we as individuals, must endure. It seems that the angel of the third secret is close at hand. Let us heed the angel’s message. PENANCE! PENANCE! PENANCE!

Now, my children, in this Passiontide, it is the perfect time to ratchet up our efforts to do penance, so that when our passion comes we are prepared for the trial, and will remain faithful to Jesus.

Our Lady of Fatima promised that in the end, her Immaculate Heart would triumph, so there is no need to have any fear whatsoever. She also promised that in difficult times, her Immaculate Heart would be our refuge, and the way to reach heaven. In these troubling times let us enclose ourselves in her Immaculate and Sorrowful Heart.