Thursday, 30 January 2014

Reflection on Gratitude

It is strenuous to elicit from someone a sense of gratitude towards God for removing some obstacle when they believe that it is their due to be completely undisturbed by trouble.

Saturday, 25 January 2014

Reflection on the Family

The family is to be the workshop of the Faith, where love of God is taught and nourished, where children are formed in justice and knowledge of goodness, where sacrificed is cherished and duty is embraced.

Reflection on the Aufer a Nobis

As the priest is called to stand in persona Christi his first intention must be to conform his mind to the purity of Christ who ascended the Cross with only thoughts of His Father and the redemption of mankind. Let the cleric wish for nothing else than this.

Reflection on Betrayal and Bishops

The Christian soul can not marvel at the enemies of Christ rallying against His Church but the eagerness with which so many prelates rush to undermine the divine foundation of His Spouse is a greater scandal and a betrayal of the simple faithful. So the bishop, so the people.

Reflection on this World

To live in the shadow of the Crucified is to be fundamentally countercultural. By a firmness and trust in our Father's providence throughout all time and space, we believe all shall be resolved and our simple acts of charity and endurance be proclaimed in truth.  When He wills it, all shall be subjugated to Himself, even the wicked who raise up their messiahs against His reign of holiness. The lie of societal progress shall be extinguished even as the world is burned up.

Thursday, 23 January 2014

Reflection on Reverence

In an age where the slightest show of hierarchy or authority is outright rejected, it is not surprising that a hint of reverence of regarded as blasphemous. Unfortunately, any veneration of the Deity is also considered demeaning to man's dignity and as an affront to vaguely defined equality.

Wednesday, 22 January 2014

Reflection on Knowing God Exists by Reason Alone

The two fundamental philosophical laws that you must utilise consistently in order to rise to a natural knowledge of God and His existence are that of non-contradiction and the principle of identity.

Reflection on Physical Premotion

Physical premotion is nothing other than the consistent application of the principle of universal divine causality. It consists of a movement that actualises the freedom of the human will, removing it from a state of inertia or passive indifference to some object.

Sunday, 19 January 2014

Reflection on Democracy and the Rights of God

To believe that the Church's doctrines must be submitted to a popular vote is to consider implicitly that it is God Himself who needs saving and not us.

Saturday, 18 January 2014

''The Renewal of Pope Francis'' - A Rebuttal.

In the Monday, 13th of January 2014 edition of 'El País' an article is featured entitled, 'La Renovación del papa Francisco'' which merits a lot of consideration, not in my view, as a result of the penetrating insight of the writer, Antonio Elorza, but as a consequence of what it reveals about the mind of someone like this catedrático from Madrid. He has joined the conga line of happy liberals proclaiming the allegiance of Jorge Mario Bergoglio to their cause to transform society and to be blunt, maybe these men and women have a point after all. Yet that is not the point of this rebuttal of Señor Elorza. I aim to show how true Christianity has been utterly decimated in the minds of such writers and speakers who have reduced it to a useless sentimentalism adorned with the occasional snippings from Sacred Scripture as they claim to have finally understood the significance of Christ´s person and mission.

 For those blessed with an understanding of the beautiful Castilian tongue, I attach the link to his ponderings on how Papa Francisco represents authentic Christianity.

 The subtitle of the article is particularly interesting as it concerns something much more fundamental about Pope Bergoglio than most journalists and academics have sought to discover. ´´The new pontiff has altered the relationship between sin and human freedom´´. I read the article on the way home from work on the train and I am certain I attracted a bit of curious attention from fellow passengers as I prodded the page with my finger and muttered ´no, no, that´s nonsense!´and I sighed and wondered how this man ended up as a university professor.

 I rarely read El País as it is the Iberian Peninsula´s version of The Guardian, containing the very same pompous self-satisfaction that only a bourgeoisie liberal could possibly possess, but as it is the only Spanish newspaper Edinburgh has on offer, I tried my luck.

 At the beginning of the article, he remarks that Pope Benedict XVI left a legacy of his dogmatic theology to his successor to promulgate in ´´Lumen Fidei´´ but now that that is over and done with, the real Francis may step out of the shadows as his own man. It appears to have bypassed Elorza that Francis was under no obligation to sign off on Ratzinger´s draft of the encylical and could have dropped it off in the cubo de la basura if he had so desired. I had initially thought as I read the article the first time that this was simply the case of another liberal hijacking Pope Francis and it was necessary to damn Ratzinger on the way. It occurred to me as I reflected on it more than the trouble the author has is not with Ratzinger but with the Christian faith as it actually is. For any honest Catholic, Pope Benedict was hardly some form of hardliner and who was completely undeserving of his media nicknames ´´God´s rottweiler´´ and the ´´Panzer Cardinal.´´ I doubt that his ideas of inter-religious dialogue, ecumenism and religious liberty are much more different from the current occupant of the Throne of St. Peter. More subtle and restrained maybe, but of the same species. A obscurantist intregrist he was not.

 I particularly find Elorza criticism of Pope Benedict´s work to be baffling as he considers it unfavourably to be ´´a forest of biblical quotations and from St. Paul´´ and he is entirely damning of Ratzinger´s ´´dualistic vision´´ of the world. The dreaded ´´dualism´´ of Ratzinger is not peculiar to him. It stems from the heart of the Gospel. It manifests itself very openly in the words of Christ. Concerning those who believe in Him and those who reject Him. The reward of the just and the eternal perdition of the wicked. Christ´s warning that few would be saved. The fact He spoke more about Hell than Heaven. The scorn with which He was treated by the authorities of His day who ended putting Him to death.  Christ obviously did not understand Himself. Nor did He understand that people would be put off by His harsh words. I imagine Elorza like so many of his ilk, walking away from Christ as they mutter ´´this is a hard teaching, who can accept it?´´ as so many did upon hearing the Eucharistic teaching of Our Lord.
 St John´s words in the prologue to his Gospel when he proclaims that the Logos came to His own and was not accepted but to those who did believe in Him, He gave power to be sons of the Eternal Father. St. Paul´s warning that those who indulge in a series of grievous sins that he has previously outlined shall not inherit the Kingdom of Heaven. His stark doctrine to the nascent Church that the believer fights not against flesh and blood but against the powers and principalities that dominate this fallen world. The lake of sulphur in the Book of Revelation, the threat of Christ to take away the lamp stand of those who grow lukewarm in His love. The whole of the New Testament of Christ manifests with great clarity the wickedness of this world and how the Christian must make use of the faith and grace given to him to attain salvation in fear and trembling. This is reflected in all the great Fathers of the Church and in the eminent Doctors of the Faith. They were not foolish enough to believe that we may reasonably hope that all men be saved. The fundamental extra-biblical theological authority in Pope Benedict is St. Augustine who ultimately, regardless of your sentiment, faithfully reflects the teaching of Scripture on matters of faith, grace and salvation. For the Bishop of Hippo, all men are deserving of damnation, a mass of sin,  but due to the loving mercy of God, completely undeserved by us, the Logos became incarnate to assume sinful flesh and offer propitiation on our behalf to the Eternal Father. Meditating on the facts of that, always upheld by the Church, will grant to the believer a greater love of God and of man, than any sentimental optimism about the dignity and goodness of humanity. If Pope Francis wishes to hurl the charge of ´´Promethean neo-Pelagian´´ at anyone he can start with thinkers such as Elorza. The modernist mind is perplexed before such realities as the necessity of grace and the fact that men truly do evil that deserve divine justice. In an attempt to be pious, they have distorted Christian hope and devalued it through a naive and ethereal good will and voluntary blindness. The true Christian vision is too bleak and therefore a barrier to entice the average man to know the Lord Jesus and His ´love´. 

Furthermore, his criticism of the Church as a ´´fortress´´ is on the whole laughable. He instead wishes for a ´missionary´Church which he believes Francis properly incarnates in his simplicity and humility. One may ask why the Church should bother to be missionary if the world is running fine on its own course of social and moral progress? Elorza´s missionary Church is entirely useless to counteract anything and can only morph into a humanitarian organization which used to have a quaint set of traditions. If the culture can represent goodness, truth and justice, the Church may actually be a burden to man. In this conception of the Church, there is no need for a fortress as there is nothing worth guarding.

  We then come across what particularly offends Elorza, ´´the faith is not a matter for the individual´´. Ratzinger in his life´s work clearly outlines the truth that we receive not the Faith as a heavenly ray alone but from the bosom of the Church. The Scripture was written by the early Christian community and handed on, later to be granted recognition by the Catholic Church as divinely inspired. No man baptises himself. As St Paul states, ´´How can they believe if they have not heard?´´ As St. Augustine relates, faith is based upon knowledge. A knowledge that can only come from the proclaiming of the Gospel by the Church, the assembly of believers. Unfortunately, the realization of this fundamental truth would harm Elorza´s point, namely, the primacy of the individual conscience. He is entirely modernistic, naturalistic and Pelagian in his understanding of the world and man´s place in it. He is, of course, much more sentimental than the monk from the British isles but is still wrong. Our author is certainly ´´a son of the spirit of Vatican II´´ and maybe some form of offspring of the authentic Council as well. He praises John XXIII´s and Paul VI´s attempt ´´to decide to look towards the future with a modern spirit and open themselves up to modern culture´´. I certainly wonder how those two pontiffs would have viewed their legacy of opening up to modernity. Paul within a few years was already lamenting the ´´smoke of Satan´´ that had entered the temple of God through some fissure. How would he react now to homosexual ´´marriage´´ and the entrenchment of abortion on demand in these ´modern cultures´? A set of cultures where God is banished and derided in the name of reason, science and liberty. These and so much more are the fruits of opening up to the spirit of the world and no Christian can have a reasonable hope that we shall be prevented from much worse. 

  Pope Francis is for him ´´an invitation to unbelievers´´ to walk the way together. It is almost as though the vital vision of faith in the light of eternity is ultimately unimportant to considering the dilemmas of the age. With simple good will, godless and goodly alike may come together to make the world a better place. Who could possibly disagree with that? An honest Catholic could. Such would be a foolish enterprise to suggest that the Christian should abandon the urgency of conversion and the realisation of the wickedness of this world to lay the foundations of concord among men which would most certainly be along the lines of modern secular humanism. It is in the words of Elorza, ´´a pluralistic conception of a Church open to social reality´´. A modern cliché to be sure and as dangerous to the divine institution of the Catholic Church as it appears to be so generous and loving. This is supposedly ´´the spirit of the Gospel´´ which excludes nobody. But to be honest, it excludes nobody as it calls nobody. It is more than the demythologizing of Scripture but the dethroning of the rights and sovereignty of God to create a anthropocentric model of the world. He bluntly states that Francis has modified the relationship of sin and human liberty but has taken no effort to lay out exactly how. He simply denies original sin and its effects on us and reduces it entirely to some form of battle of conscience within us ´´within the framework of an optimistic anthropological conception´´. At least he is honest enough to admit that the point of reference of Francis is not St. Ignatius´ Spiritual Exercises.

 ´Sin has been suppressed´´. Man is now free. Free from what? The laws of God. Free for what? To advance the jurisdiction of the devil over man. I find it odd that Elorza considers Francis to have banished Satan from Christianity as it seems to current Pontiff has spoken about our enemy far more frequently in such a short period of time than Benedict did in his whole pontificate. However, in my opinion, to Elorza and others like him, Francis is a pawn to be used for their own ends. The pope is hardly blameless in all this through this prevarications and ambiguity but he would be appalled by this writer´s interpretation of him.

 In conclusion, what we have here is another attempt by a secularist to claim Francis to his side. For him, Christianity has to be stripped of the rights of God, of divine revelation, of the Fathers and Doctors in order to be converted into a sentimental humanitarian organization of naive fools. Let us not be deceived.

Until He come,




Reflection on Ecumenism

Our ecumenism is hardly aimed at achieving Christian unity but rather it seeks handshakes, sentimental platitudes and self-satisfaction.

Tuesday, 14 January 2014

Reflection on Distinctions and Speaking

Before pronouncing on a matter of faith and morals, make sure you ask yourself "in what sense?" Much confusion is caused by speakers not fully understanding the content of their speech.

Reflection on Forming Your Morality

It is a grave danger for modern youth to construct their theology on the back of their morality. To avoid this pitfall, the Angelic Doctor considered in what the final end of man consisted before he proceeded to investigate particular acts in the life of man.

Sunday, 12 January 2014

Reflection on Compassion and Severity

How can a man know that he needs the medicine of mercy if he is unaware of being infected?

Reflection on Humility

The voluntary self reduction to rags may conceal a self-conceited satisfaction. Do not let humility remain outside.

Reflection on Pope Francis and His Role

Pope Francis appears to have assumed the role of PR agent for the Catholic Church in an attempt to make her seem more acceptable to the values of the modern world, in turn reinterpreting her divine function and history. This is far from his most solemn duty, which is to proclaim and hand on the entire deposit of the Faith untainted by personal opinion. Jorge himself is completely unimportant and the realisation of that is true humility.

Saturday, 11 January 2014

Reflection on our Bishops and the World

The attempted rapprochement with the world has made a mockery of the divine foundation of the Church. Our bishops with elegant turns of phrases have been reduced to compliant puppy dogs with purple buttons.

Reflection on Bishops

A good bishop may save a thousand souls but a bad one may damn a million.

Reflection on Moral Arguments

It is astonishing that some believe that merely stating the year is a logical argument in support or rejection of something.

Reflection on Didacticism and the Vetus Ordo

The Tridentine Latin Mass is at the same time supremely didactic as it instructs man in the one thing necessary, the adoration of God Who has loved us first.

Friday, 10 January 2014

Reflection on Public Opinion

Public opinion is rarely ever authentic. It is constantly being molded and malformed by self-appointed activists. The opinion poll can only display the socially acceptable views of a particular class.

Reflection on Leftist Newspapers

It often amuses me that a liberal bourgeoisie newspaper considers itself a specialist in assisting the poor and how the Church should respond to squalor. Class war may be utilised by both parties of the divide.

Reflection on the Reform of the Church

Any valid reform of the Church can only be to challenge her members instead of reassuring them in their vices. Greater holiness must always be the objective. Let the reader examine the pontificate of Gregory VII.

Wednesday, 8 January 2014

Reflection on the Name of Jesus

Many may have be known as Yehoshua but only One brought about what the Name signified. Truly, The Lord has saved His people.

Monday, 6 January 2014

Reflection on Honours

To refuse an honour while claiming the patronage of humility may arise from a love of show.

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Reflection on Liturgical Reform

Just as the principle of the organic development of the liturgy must obtain, so the necessity to preserve the sacred liturgy instead of tinkering with it in the light of current academic consensus must be held.

Reflection on the Holy Name of Jesus

If we proclaim God is love, to deny His gospel of salvation through Jesus to all men would be the most intolerable form of hatred and exclusiveness imaginable. Since there is only one Name that may save us, no platitude about charity could ever absolve us from the guilt incurred by reserving Christ to only some. We must not act as though the Name of Jesus is some oppressive burden but our sweetness and constant delight.

Friday, 3 January 2014

Why and How I Write

It almost axiomatic to the thinking men of our age that our civilization is in crisis. Not too much of what is truly civil remains, yet man persists in being aggressive in his pursuits and in his arrogance regarding the triumphs of modern society. Most recognise abhorrent behaviour and selfishness but few reach the underlying causes of such decay in the social interactions of men and women. We do not suffer from a crisis in behaviour but one that is far more fundamental to the disintegration of the Western world. Man has lost himself in his craving for freedom, and has bound himself to many demons. It is an intellectual and spiritual crisis that haunts our streets as men have abandoned God and grievously wounded themselves.

 My intention in founding Filioque was to present my theological vision, combining the insights of Sts. Augustine and Thomas who comprise the best of the Roman Church's spiritual heritage. I may wish still to become a great theologian, proclaiming my profound knowledge of things divine at an ecumenical council but today, I can only offer more modest morsels. I am particularly irritated that the title of ''Exceptional and Pious Doctor'' has already been taken. In recent months, I have however dedicated myself to analysing the malaise of our society, a disease that as a young man I am unable to escape from. These 'aphorisms', as a generous priest has described them came about by accident, or at least through an interesting act of Providence. After damaging my laptop while in Spain and only having an Ipad to type with, which to be blunt is a nightmare, I resorted to writing short and often random reflections on the culture and Catholicism. My first acquaintance with the aphorism came through Nietzsche and I attempt through my contributions to overturn his errors and others like his. I do not write from a monastery, I do not have that luxury, but from experiences tied to this world in more ways that I wish. The greatest advice I could give a Catholic writer is to remain relevant. I read a particular piece of counsel from Cardinal Mercier of Belgium a while back which continues to be my inspiration.

''Always keep current;  know what the modern world is thinking about; read its poetry, its history, its literature; observe its architecture and its art; hear its music and its theatre; and then plunge deeply into St. Thomas and the wisdom of the ancients and you will be able to refute its errors''

With the wisdom gained through my study of St Thomas I hope to counter some fundamental errors of society and why the rights of God must be upheld for the sake of man's freedom and dignity. The flaws in modern thinking are revealed all around us, in the pop songs that pervert our ears, the lewd images that bombard our eyes and the wicked speech on the tongues of our contemporaries. Yet the same people who help to cause the degradation of society are still made in the image of God and are worth saving. The longing for love and acceptance is still present at the core of their being and it is up to us to reveal the One they have been searching for, consciously or not.

I do not attempt to sentimentalise the Faith which may gain me more followers but no glory in heaven. The treasure of the Catholic Church is there for all to behold and love, which is a great consolation amid the mockery of many. It is from a knowledge and love of this Faith revealed by the authority of God and proclaimed by His Church that I attempt to refute the fallacies of this age which are so damaging to right thought and correct morals. From this fountain of wisdom, one can proceed to diagnose the ills of modern society, leading the infected back to God. I generally do not plan my writings, but through reading articles on current affairs, culture, politics, debates on social media and religion, certain thoughts come to me and I write them down in short form, hoping that they benefit some soul out there a little.The reflections are all my own, unless stated. What is good in them, give thanks to God. What is defective, correct me. Errors form our environment, in turn influencing the decision making of many who are generally thought to be good. As only a 23 year old layman, unknown to most, I can only have limited reach but the little good I hope to do may be enough to convert one soul which would be a great blessing.

Until He come,



Reflection on Social Justice

Just as not everyone who says to Christ, 'Lord Lord' shall enter the Kingdom of Heaven, not all who proclaim 'Think of the poor!' are truly concerned about the vulnerable in society.

Reflection on Carrying the Cross

It falls to all men to carry a cross, but only those who lift it with their graze on Christ can hope for it to become the tree of life. As for the rest, the splinters will prove an intolerable and useless burden.

Reflection on Multiculturalism

The irony about multiculturalism is that is tends by necessity towards one singular dominant creed which is to govern society. In order for the various groups to exist within the nation, they must abandon their deeply held beliefs once they part the threshold of their private dwellings. For society to harmoniously function, the bare bones forming a common understanding must be adopted by all in the public sphere, which essentially is secular humanism. For all the lauding of diversity, in truth, only one belief system may be held. Furthermore it appears that they are much more motived by a hatred of Christianity than by a love of cultural diversity.

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Reflection on the Endurance of Truth

If as the modernists claim, "all is only valid in its time", then they have dealt themselves a most serious blow. A more enlightened assembly of thinkers will surely arise in a not too distant future and deride their most sacred doctrines as nothing more than chaff to be burnt.

Reflection on Error

The trouble with the modernist is that his ideas are not so modern after all. Being ever so ancient, they have been refuted many a time.

Wednesday, 1 January 2014

Reflection on "Being Pastoral"

More souls have been lost due to "being pastoral" than possibly could be through severity.