See how the farmer waits for the precious fruit of the earth, being patient with it until it receives the early and the late rains. - James 5:7

Thursday, April 07, 2011

What if it was all just one big conspiracy?



For instance, what's the difference between Garabandal and Medjugorje?
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There are similarities in both apparition sites and their messages.  One may argue that point as to details, but they are pretty close in kind.  One is favored by the more charismatic believer, while the other is favored by the more traditional believer.  Both have holy men and women who are said to have believed in the events and messages at one place or another.  The Bishops of both places have said at one time or another that there is no evidence that anything supernatural occurred at these sites.  Not a few of the faithful have more or less decided otherwise, and some even use belief in these events as a sort of litmus test of orthodoxy, or fidelity to Catholic teaching.
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Can something start out true and end in error?  Can a person be converted only to fall away later?  Can something like faith and devotion be faked?  Even for a long period of time?  Are there really people who have the form of religion but are something else all together?  Are there really 'impious people who have no faith?'   Can our charity admit to that?  
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'The table of sinners.'
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At his Wednesday audience, the Holy Father pointed to the doctrine of love discovered by the little St. Therese of the Child Jesus and the Holy Face as an example to all, even intellectuals, and none more so than theologians.  "Little Therese," he said, "never failed to help the most simple souls, the little ones, the poor and the suffering who prayed to her, but she also illuminated all the Church with her profound spiritual doctrine."
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Speaking to her witness of heroic faith amidst suffering, the Holy Father said: 'The faith she showed through this great suffering was "faith at its most heroic, as the light in the shadows that invade the soul," observed the Pope. "In this context of suffering, living the greatest love in the littlest things of daily life, the saint realized her vocation of becoming the love at the heart of the Church."'
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One of the sayings I most love from St. Therese is her assertion, "I prefer not to see."  She preferred to live by faith alone, even if that meant dining at the table of sinners - participating in their faithlessness, as it were, in her dark night of faith.  In this manner, little Therese associated herself with the unbelievers and the skeptics, the lowly and afflicted.  Nevertheless, in some mysterious sense, the heroic charity of Therese motivated her to  'bear all things, believe all things, hope all things, endure all things' - without seeing, devoid of consolation.  How many of us can sometimes find ourselves at the same table?  Struggling to believe all things, hope all things, endure all things?  Gratefully, we have St. Therese to help us.
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"To lead astray, even the elect, if that were possible." - Mt. 24:24
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As a nun, Therese and her community had been deceived by the conversion story of Diana Vaughan, an impostor whose true persona was the anti-Catholic con-artist Leo Taxil... The realization of which led to Therese writing in her memoirs, "I was unable to believe there were really impious people who had no faith... [but] Jesus made me feel that there were really souls who have no faith, and who, through the abuse of grace, lost this precious treasure, the source of the only real and pure joy."
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Leo Taxil of course was a contemporary of St. Therese of Lisieux, who for a time had been taken in by his scam. Taxil had stunned European society with his conversion from Free-Masonry to Catholicism, and subsequent pamphlets detailing the evil Satanic sect within Masonry. (Read more.) Later he invented a persona named Dianah Vaughan, whom he claimed also converted, with startling details of the diabolic cult. Taxil, an anti-clerical free-thinker from the start, delighted in deceiving and mocking the Catholic Church; the Lisieux Carmel and as I mentioned, St. Therese just happened to be amongst those duped.  Yet it did not disturb her peace, rather it lead her to an even deeper understanding of her vocation. 
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Needless to say, the deception neither did harm to the Carmel or the Catholic Church, although in a way, it demonstrates to some extent how even the elect can be fooled - if possible, and only for a time.  One thinks of the founder of the Legion, Marcel Maciel, and his double life; an elaborate pretense which fooled even the Pope.  Unlike Taxil, it doesn't appear that Maciel was attempting to mock or destroy the Church, nor did he ever declare himself an enemy of the Church; despite that, his motivation and actions remain somewhat unexplainable.
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It is said Leo Taxil also deceived a Pope: Leo XIII:
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Suddenly, after fifteen years of rude work spent paddling in the mire of a swampy but lucrative literature, the impious pamphleteer, soaked to the waist, finds a new calling. He renounces Satan and his base works: once so proud, he burns all that he has adored and adores all that he once burned: in short, he makes honorable public amends, confesses, attends mass, takes communion, and throws himself at the feet of the Sovereign Pontiff. "My son," the Pope asks him, "what do you want?" - "Holy Father, to die at your feet, there, at this moment... It would be my greatest joy!" responds the prostate penitent. "Not to die," answers Léo XIII with a benevolent smile, "your life is still very useful for the struggles of faith."
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This alleged conversion of Mr. Léo Taxil’s, which justly touched the Catholic world and the Free Thinking world, was but the prologue of a comedy, of an enormous farce in many acts, conceived and constructed by a hoaxer more inventive than concerned about his own dignity. Here is the scenario very briefly outlined:
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Act One: Simulations of repentance and of penitence, pious practices proper to edifying the clergy and to capture it’s full confidence. Diffusion of small books directed against FreeMasonry.
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Act Two: Invention of Palladism or High Luciferian Masonry, divulging of secret rites of lodges and back-lodges of the entire world, vowed to the cult of Lucifer.
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Act Three: Entrance of Miss. Diana Vaughan, so called ex-luciferian of high mark, converted to Catholicism, who reveals in her "Memoires" the diabolic mysteries of this damned sect, receives pontifical benediction and maintains a continuous correspondence with the most eminent members of the clergy.
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Act Four and final scene: Evening of April 19th 1897, organized in Paris in the room of the Geographic Society, and announced with great fanfare. The announced programme includes: 1st: The raffle of a writing machine offered by Miss. Diana Vaughan;
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2nd: A lecture entitled "Twelve years under the banner of the Church" by Mr. Léo Taxil.
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3rd: Palladism exposed, a conference accompanied by light show projections by Miss. Diana Vaughan. 
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The writing machine is raffled and is won by a young journalist. The evening begins... but, to the great disappointment of the public, wisely composed of a mix of priests, avowed catholics and free thinkers (the organizer later admitted to having selected the audience), the most impatiently awaited person, the mysterious, the extraordinary heroine whose problematic existence would dispel much speculation, and whom some sceptics had dared to treat as a myth, having stayed until then in the corridors-Miss Diana Vaughan does not appear. Mr. Léo Taxil, in correct evening dress, occupies the stage, alone. With serene impudence, in even tones, he denounces his own imposture, completely empties his bag of malice, explains complacently how, for twelve years, he has betrayed and duped the clergy and has made fun of everyone. "Ladies and Gentlemen," he cried out in a peremptory manner, "I am admitting my crime. I committed infanticide: Palladism, now, is dead, very dead. Its father has just killed it." - A Hoax  (Warning:  This is a Masonic site.)
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"Be clever as serpents and innocent as doves." - Mt. 10: 16
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These days, as Sr. Lucia of Fatima once wrote, diabolic delusion has swept the world, and we have witnessed over and over again how many can be easily deceived and seduced.  We need to be prayerfully vigilant.
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“Holy Spirit, inspire me.
Love of God consume me.
Along the true road, lead me.
Mary, my good mother, look down upon me.
With Jesus, bless me.
From all evil, all illusion, all danger, preserve me.”
- Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified, OCD

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Art:  Allegory - Falshood

4 comments:

  1. Excellent post. Do you think the reason St. Therese was momentarily fooled by Taxil is because she was not a mystic? Would Taxil have been able to get over on Padre Pio?

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  2. “Holy Spirit, inspire me.
    Love of God consume me.
    Along the true road, lead me.
    Mary, my good mother, look down upon me.
    With Jesus, bless me.
    From all evil, all illusion, all danger, preserve me.”
    - Blessed Mary of Jesus Crucified, OCD

    AMEN!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Stranger than fiction: Nietzsche and the Martin family once stayed at the same hotel at the same time, a biographer of Therese was startled to find.

    ReplyDelete
  4. 'diabolic delusion has swept the world, and we have witnessed over and over again how many can be easily deceived and seduced. We need to be prayerfully vigilant.' Sr Lucia of Fatima

    I never knew this story about Therese,thanks for the post.
    What experience doesn't teach us, the words of one who has been touched by heaven can.
    To be prayerfully vigilant is a good word for believers today.

    +PAX

    ReplyDelete


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