Cleansing Fire

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Fraternal Darkness – of Masons, Catholics, and the Light of Lights

August 12th, 2010, Promulgated by Gen

One of my favorite channels on YouTube is from the Franciscan Friars, who run “Air Maria.” Every day they have masterful homilies, beautiful snippets of Roman orthodoxy, and examples of “liturgy done right.” Today’s homily stood out to me because of the title: Freemasonry – Fraternal Darkness. Usually the titles are very subtle, dealing with prayerful themes, saint stories, or other non-controversial topics of the same flavor. But today, we encounter the Church’s teaching on Freemasonry. This group, which, admittedly, does a great deal of good for various people, is, at its core, deeply and fundamentally anti-Catholic. There is in Freemasonry, however, a great sense of fraternity. That’s undeniable, from whatever angle you look at the group. The curious thing here, as we learned from Bishop Sheen in his talks about Satan, is that the Devil is a sower of discord. How could it be that a group such as the Masons, which is so intrinsically anti-Church, has these palpable bonds of fraternity? It’s simple, in my opinion. Now, while I am sure that Masons are not possessed like the girl in “The Exorcist,” I think that in their spiritual darkness, they band together because they are so permeated with common errors regarding Truth. Remember – the demons in the Scriptures may have been sowers of discord, but in the Gospels, the name “Legion” is used. It wasn’t one diabolical spirit, one Satanic influence, but several wrapped into one.

However, look at the other side of the coin – what do you see in the Church, as opposed to Freemasonry? You see several generations of priests and seminarians who have, in the words of one DoR priest, “never experienced the fraternity we were told we would.” The ranks of our priests have been cut apart by heretics, by dissenters, by lack-lustre theologians and liturgists who seek to glorify the Created in lieu of the Creator. That’s the diabolical spirit Sheen mentioned, this division. But consider this, friends. Since the Jubilee Year in 2,000, there has been a general upswing in the numbers of seminarians, priests, religious, and dedicated lay people. We aren’t really seeing that here, at least not yet, but we soon will. And what’s behind this upswing? Christ-centered fraternity.

For the first time since the mournful days of the hijacking of the Council’s implementation our seminarians, newly-ordained priests, our young men, our young women, are all on the same page. The young ones who are taking the places of the dying and retired servants of God are enthusiastic for the Faith, and not some “faith” given to them by schismatics – it’s the Faith given to us from Christ and His Apostles. It’s genuine Catholicism, and the liberals loathe this. Just like how the Masons hold their meetings in darkness, not permitting the light of day to penetrate, the dissidents refuse to open their hearts and minds to the light of reality. The young people are sticking together, and are doing so out of a love, not of self, not of each other, but of Our Lord and the Church which He founded, wed, and presents to us each and every moment of our lives.

When you base your life’s work on theory, on speculation, on “higher learning” which promotes the mentality of self-deification, you lose the firm foundation we have, collectively, in the age-old Tradition of the Catholic Church. Turn from the diabolically-enforced fraternity of darkness, which causes fear and division, and turn, rather, towards the fraternity of Christ. The liberals always love to say, “brothers and sisters,” or rather, “sisters and brothers,” but they don’t know what this means. They look at it as everyone being one big family, and that’s where their thinking stops (presuming it ever actually began). We look at this, and say, “What makes us brothers and sisters in Christ?” It’s the oneness of His body that yields to us the sacred bonds of fraternity. When we’re all doing our own things, that’s when we lose ourselves, our friends, our souls, and our own ability to discern that we have, in actuality, lost those things. Darkness prevents us from seeing, and this darkness invades us the moment we begin to say, “The Church teaches ‘X’ – I believe ‘Y.'” Where’s the fraternity in that? I suppose there’s a fraternity in being wrong together, but that’s just ludicrous. Who wants to base the sacred bonds of friendship off of something more akin to the Nazi generals’ friendship than that of the Church’s sacred unity?

People must learn to take their direction from someone other than themselves. When we’re doing our own thing, and focus solely on what’s fun, or exciting, or physically gratifying in some way, we turn from the portals of our souls, the portals which let the light of Christ shine into our beings. Who can, when he thinks clearly and unselfishly, turn from the Light of Lights? Often times we are seized by indecision, by greed, by lust, by avarice, and these become so penetrating and frightening to our comprehension, that we become detached from what God really wants. Time and time again, in the Catechism, we find passages saying, “This is sinful, but if the sinner is consumed by (insert deadly sin) and is unable to choose freely, his or her culpability is severely diminished.” You can find these passages especially in the section dealing with the 6th Commandment. We turn from light, and get lost in the darkness. While our sins do carry a definitive punishment, one cannot help but think that the mere experience of being lost, spiritually, is in itself a kind of penance. What greater pain is there for the Christian than to wander blindly, unaware of the danger, and then to find out that he or she has been walking in the bonds of diabolic fraternity, hand-in-hand with the Evil One. Behold the mercy of the Creator, friends. He gives us light, and we have the absolutely beautiful gift of being able to turn towards and walk by its radiance.

When the Church is left to do what She ought to, without the dull musings of men and women intent on their own agendas, we can experience a taste of Heavenly unity. One of the most beautiful things I myself have ever experienced was walking into a local adoration chapel, and knowing that every individual in there was doing the same thing – silently adoring the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords, the Light of Lights. That’s fraternity, and what a marked difference from the feigned unity of the Masons, of the “Reformers,” of the Protestants. The only true unity in this world comes from the Church founded by God, and not by humanity. What value is there in turning from the Light, which is God Himself, and turning instead towards the dark corner containing only doubt and uncertainty? There is no value in that. None whatsoever.

We must pray, friends, for the priests we have now. May they find the support they so desperately need. May they find the courage to do the right things, liturgically and theologically speaking, and not bend the knee to lay-appointed and lay-run councils. Priests have a God-given authority and they shouldn’t be afraid to exercise that. May they find the strength to reach out to each other and forge those bonds of fraternity so long tarnished and strained by error and heresy. We must pray, also, for those young men “waiting in the wings.” Thank God they have more support than any other generation in the past 40 years. Pray for our young women, that they might actually have the audacity to consider living the life of a religious, taking the veil and wedding their Mystical Spouse, Jesus Christ. What beauty there is in that! No man who becomes a priest and no woman who becomes a nun can be told that they’re “single.” They are wedded in a clear and permanent way to Our Lord. And thank God for that. May we be given more sources of Divine Light through their pious examples of genuine love. Only then can we begin to clear away the wreckage of  dissent and the progressives’ anger.

“It is Christ’s charity that drives us on: “caritas Christi urget nos” (2 Cor 5:14). The urgency is inscribed not only in things, it is not derived solely from the rapid succession of events and problems, but also from the very matter that is at stake: the establishment of authentic fraternity.” – Pope Benedict XVI’s Caritas in Veritate

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