Cleansing Fire

Defending Truth and Tradition in the Roman Catholic Church

Author Archive

People I’m grateful are not my Shepherd!

June 17th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

During this Wuhan corona quarantine some religious leaders have shown their best sides, others their worst. Some have risen to the challenge, some cower in fear. Some nurture; some exploit. Now we know a lot more about some of our shepherds and pastors, and some of it isn’t pretty. But it is easier to change one’s parish than to change our diocese, so at least we’ve been warned to be very, very careful about certain “leaders.” We might even propose that the worst of what we hear may be the Lord revealing to us what we need to know for the good of our souls, that from which we need to protect ourselves.

We do need to stop and consider whether or not it is appropriate to identify the risks and help others to avoid harm.  It is not so much requiring we keep silence in order to be adequately charitable, as much as it is a matter of sharing with brothers and sisters in the faith what we or others have discerned, so that collectively we might be warned to avoid the pitfalls.

Abp. Wilton Gregory of Washington, D.C.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/dc-archbishop-criticizes-long-planned-trump-visit-to-catholic-shrine-as-reprehensible?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com&utm_campaign=127ec018d6-Catholic_6_2_20&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12387f0e3e-127ec018d6-402220649

 

Cardinal Blaise J. Cupich of Chicago, Ill.

https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/cupichs-strange

 

Abp. Thomas J. Rodi of Mobile, Ala.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/us-archbishop-forbids-priests-to-say-public-masses-if-they-offer-communion-on-tongue?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com&utm_campaign=127ec018d6-Catholic_6_2_20&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12387f0e3e-127ec018d6-402220649

 

I have discussed with some friends whom they would put on top of their least desirable bishops’ list.  There’s no point in mentioning their choices, as they can comment on this post. And different people have, understandably, different opinions, maybe based on different needs or experiences. The point is that we are not judging their souls, which we have no right to do, only evaluating the fruit (or lack of it) that we can publicly see. That is called discernment.

Finally, I’ve been asked if I also plan to list the top three prelates I’d most welcome to head any diocese in which I might reside. The answer is ‘no’ because there is so much that we don’t know or can’t see, and “it’s not over, until it’s over.” Meanwhile, there is no point in provoking demonic actions against good, solid bishops, risking pain of the kind Job suffered.

 

Mat 16:3

“And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.”

‘Celebrating’ the substantial ‘reopening’ of the Mass in local Catholic churches

June 11th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

This is a very special weekend for those whose churches are substantially ‘reopening.’ They may never have ‘closed’ in the mind of the priests who said daily Mass without the faithful in the pews. But, regardless of the details of masks, mandatory distancing, 25% capacity restrictions,  or suspension for the time being of the obligation of Sunday worship, we are now going back inside the doors and worshiping Him from Whom all blessings flow. And, to be reconnected physically and liturgically to the Vine, is a very big moment.

It is too easy a reaction to simply wipe our 98.6 degree brows, and let out a big sigh behind the stuffy mask, that life is on the way to ‘returning to normal’, so “Let’s get on with life.” While true in one sense, nevertheless it is an opportunity for much more. It is an opportunity for gratitude — not gratitude to the state, the diocese, the activists, or the people who worked hard to adjust to changes on the fly as best they could. No, it is an opportunity, above all, to give thanks to a Good God who has not left us orphans. And if our family members and friends survived, especially the most vulnerable, that too is a reason for gratitude. It could have gone the other way, as it did for over 100,000 people in the U.S. Let what we suffered not be diminished by trying to recreate the prior normal, but rather let’s give thanks in ways which matter most to God, from deep in our hearts, looking past where we were to where we are going now. To just return to where we were is to miss the entire point of the opportunity God gave to us (and which many of us understandably received somewhat unwillingly) to use the blessing hidden in the pain.

In time, we may understand more of what has occurred, but the moment of gratitude may well have faded by then. What has happened did not occur without at least God’s permissive Will, even if we don’t yet know how it all fits in the Divine Plan. Gratitude helps to break open understanding, even if accompanied by a big OUCH!

The implication that gratitude is needed is shown in the holy ‘coincidence’ that our liberation weekend is that of Corpus Christi; i.e. the Solemnity of the Most Holy Body and Blood of Christ. It turns our perception around a bit to understand that much as we crave receiving the Holy Sacrament, Jesus yearns even more to come to us. What He has deprived us of receiving, He has also deprived Himself of giving. What does that mean for God, whose constrained love  is even more powerful than we can imagine? And what is He now asking of us? 

The name “Eucharist” gives us the clue. “Eucharisto” in the Greek means “I give thanks” and that is why this weekend’s feast of the Eucharist hints that perhaps the right approach for us is to give thanks, for the Eucharist above all, especially for those for whom receiving the Eucharist for the first time in weeks or months is a cherished reunion with our Beloved. There is no Catholic for whom receiving the Eucharist can’t be more that we already experienced prior to the shutdown. We have the opportunity to aspire to even more, to as much as the Lord is willing to entrust to us. And such aspiration is, in itself, gratitude.

There are some who even, prior to the shutdown, lost a deep Eucharistic connection in their souls. Sometimes, lack of ‘feeling’ or ’emotion’ makes a person think that is evidence that Christ isn’t really present in the consecrated host; but ‘belief’ is not a feeling or emotion. Some of those who report that they no longer believe in the Real Presence of Christ — Body, Blood, Soul and Divinity — deeply want to recover the experience of the holy and don’t know how to begin. One of the most beautiful expressions of gratitude which those souls could give right now is to quietly acknowledge what they have lost, and beg for a renewed ability to embrace the Divine Truth of the Eucharist. Christ often asks in the Gospels “What would you have Me do for you?” We must ask. And also it is good to ask the priest in confession to pray for us too.

How long does one persist in this effort? It would seem at least as long as the Eucharistic Fast to which we have just been subjected. A worthy effort (i.e. a way of ‘asking’) is to attend also at least one weekday Mass each week, as it is quite different from all the distractions of a Sunday Mass. One sign during such a time that we are on the right path is noticing, after maybe a few weeks, a personal increase in reverence toward receiving the Holy Eucharist.

We can all begin by being grateful for the ability to be grateful, especially for this divinely orchestrated reassembly on — of all times — the Solemnity of the Body and Blood of Christ. It is an invitation to all Catholics to ask for even more spiritually than we had previously. Gratitude opens the way.

 

What a Righteous Relationship of Church and State might look like ….

June 10th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Abp. Vigano’s letter to President Trump

https://remnantnewspaper.com/web/index.php/articles/item/4926-open-letter-to-donald-trump-former-u-s-apostolic-nuncio-archbishop-vigano-stands-with-president-against-the-mob

President Trump’s Tweet to the World

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/trump-tweets-archbishop-viganos-open-letter-published-by-lifesitenews-i-hope-everyone…reads-it?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com&utm_campaign=2164d1a2cd-Daily%2520Headlines%2520-%2520U.S._COPY_779&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12387f0e3e-2164d1a2cd-401405353

Abp. Vigano’s Letter on liberation from ‘false teachings’ from and since Vatican II

https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/abp-vigano-on-the-roots-of-deviation-of-vatican-ii-and-how-francis-was-chosen-to-revolutionize-the-church?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com&utm_campaign=2164d1a2cd-Daily%2520Headlines%2520-%2520U.S._COPY_779&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12387f0e3e-2164d1a2cd-401405353

Faithful German cleric adds voice against receiving Communion in the hand

https://www.lifesitenews.com/blogs/faithful-german-priest-urges-church-to-end-catastrophic-mistake-of-allowing-holy-communion-in-hand

It seems like the floodgates of truth and courage are about to swing wide open. Let’s do our part and pray!

 

Shameful “Science”

June 9th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Shameful “Science” has just caused the death of many people from the deadly Wuhan virus. Whether politically motivated or financially motivated is still hard to determine, but the raw facts are clear. Early in the American invasion by China’s manufactured virus, there were efforts to apply drugs to treatment of the victims of the virus, drugs which had enjoyed some success against earlier viruses. It didn’t take long before good results were announced, and President Trump was one of the first people to mention the application and hold out hope in what seemed like an extremely virulent and almost untreatable disease. The drug was developed against malaria in the 1940’s and its history showed efficacy and few long term side effects. The drug is inexpensive and readily available, so why not use it and treat as many as possible?

The answer seems to be that what was enthusiasm on one hand met with unreasonable opposition on the other hand. For example, NY’s Governor Cuomo, issuing all his own rules and regs without most normal government processes, took it on himself to say only virus suffers enrolled in a study would be allowed to use the drug in NY. Other states followed suit. Patients died who could have been saved, like the elderly in nursing homes, for whom Cuomo  wrote a death sentence without reprieve, by ordering the nursing homes to accept COVID patients, even though unprepared to do so. Cuomo also whined about needing thousands more ventilators, which were mostly ineffective against the disease. Governors playing scientist are only one step away from playing God. And Cuomo’s push for legislation to end a baby’s life after birth or after a failed abortion already show he’s been ‘playing God’ for quite a while.

President Trump, on the other hand, clearly had some access to the truth of the matter, as he never stopped calling for use of the anti-malarial, even when he was denounced as trying to leverage the situation for personal financial gain. Finally, he even put himself on the line to make the point that he must have had access to credible scientific studies. And that got political attention, big time. Who was behind mis-characterizing the anti-malarial as dangerous or ineffective? Did it involve Bill Gates who unabashedly was promoting vaccine plus the mark of the beast to make billions more for himself? Finally some truth about exploitative studies on other Gates ‘clinicals’ in poor and undeveloped countries was strongly rumored, and the damage done in such clinicals hit the press. Gates himself acknowledged that a million people could die just from a vaccine; but, remember, he is on the side of reducing world population by billions too! Apparently there is big money in death, provided one is not the person who dies.

We can’t know yet whether the strategy of an inexpensive and effective drug,  already on the market for more than half a century, provoked drug manufacturers to rant against the anti-malarial or not, to spread false rumors until they had caught up in their R&D development with a profitable vaccine or not, or whether the major attack on the drug was motivated by Cuomo and others disagreeing with any strategy with a Trump byline. But what should matter to scientists and decision makers is truth — always the truth. Yet the well known Lancet Journal accepted an apparently falsified claim against the anti-malarial, by incompetent workers (hardly deserving to be called scientists) in a highly suspect company with few credentials. If President Trump had not pursued the case for those suffering from COVID, at his own personal risk and belief, we would likely never know that the Lancet’s “scientific paper” was simply an adverse marketing fiction to give advantage to a patentable drug under big Pharm development.

Lying scientists hits close to home, and to what I wrote on CF related to Laudato Si in 2015, as the only reason for any seriousness being given to climate change arguments. In my opinion, the myth of climate change cannot be separated from the alleged fraud of Michael E Mann’s global warming “hockey stick.” A scientist who falsifies data is an abomination to all those who do ‘good science,’  valuing the truth wherever it leads. Don’t believe it happened? Check out Mark Steyn’s “A Disgrace to the Profession.” 

I am of the opinion that if President Trump had not taken the risk personally of using the anti-malarial, it would still be banned from use on the technicality that it hadn’t been tested long enough, and we’d never know the lie behind the misuse of science. Here are three articles which go well beyond the opinion I have shared here, and shake the substance of scientific decisions to their very core. Without truth, “science” is nothing.

“Spectacular Results”

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/the-strange-astounding-fight-by-world-leading-infectious-disease-doctor-and-others-to-continue-spectacular-results-saving-covid-infected-lives-using-common-cheap-safe-medication?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com&utm_campaign=0f78d09c53-Daily%2520Headlines%2520-%2520U.S._COPY_775&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12387f0e3e-0f78d09c53-401405341

“Proven safe and inexpensive”

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/doctors-insist-this-drug-is-a-proven-safe-inexpensive-key-to-returning-society-toward-normal-functioning-and-to-preventing-huge-loss-of-life-from-covid-virus

“Lancet retracts study”

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/lancet-forced-to-retract-influential-study-discrediting-malaria-drugs-success-in-treating-covid-19?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com&utm_campaign=9fcbd1453c-Daily%2520Headlines%2520-%2520U.S._COPY_777&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12387f0e3e-9fcbd1453c-401405341

“Ripple effect of bad science against Catholics”

https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/are-christians-being-persecuted-under-guise-of-protecting-public-health?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com&utm_campaign=56de2d9c48-Daily%2520Headlines%2520-%2520U.S._COPY_778&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12387f0e3e-56de2d9c48-401405341

A Warning from a Future Saint

June 6th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

The following words by the then-Cardinal Wojtyla were reported to have been given in an address during the Eucharistic Congress in August 1976 for the Bicentennial celebration of the signing of the Declaration of Independence. Almost 44 years ago, yet it seems to be so profoundly prophetic for our own times:

“We are now standing in the face of the greatest historical confrontation humanity has ever experienced. I do not think that the wide circle of the American Society, or the whole wide circle of the Christian Community, realize this fully. We are now facing the final confrontation between the Church and the anti-church, between the gospel and the anti-gospel, between Christ and the antichrist. The confrontation lies within the plans of Divine Providence. It is, therefore, in God’s Plan, and it must be a trial which the Church must take up, and face courageously…” 

 

Heresy among the Hierarchy? Part V: Psalms, Gospels & ACTS

June 4th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

This is the fifth part in a six part series using Sacred Scripture to defend against allegations by some members of the Catholic hierarchy who wrongly assert that God does not send plague, pestilence and famine to show His righteous indignation and, ultimately, for the good of souls.

The first four parts can be found by clicking the relevant link:

This Part V will cover the few mentions in Psalms and in the Gospels and ACTS. The next and final section, Part VI, will be vs. Revelation, which of course exposes from the somewhat different perspective of the end times, rather than as a punishment to be endured and from which to repent and recover; then, the call to repentance is much more for saving our souls, rather than our bodies. (The vs. in the titles indicates that the position of heretical hierarchs, disavowing God’s very relevant role;  versus means being against what is explicitly revealed in Sacred Scripture.)

There is no claim in these excerpts to comprehensively cover ALL the mentions of plague, pestilence and/or famine. For example, the Book of Ruth records there was a famine in the land, which led Naomi, and her husband and sons to migrate to seek food, but we don’t know what caused the famine. Therefore it, and other verses, are left out where the plague or famine isn’t presented as retribution from God, or assertion of the Power of God. That is, of course, not to ignore that everything that happens does so within the permissive Will of God, to allow punishment or to protect.

 

Psalms

Psalm 33:19: “…that He may deliver their soul from death, and keep them alive in famine.”

Psalm 37:19: “…they are not put to shame in evil times, in the days of famine they have abundance.”

Psalm 38:11: “My friends and companions stand aloof from my plague, and my kinsmen stand afar off.”

Psalm 78:50: “He made a path for His anger; He did not spare them from death, but gave their lives over to the plague.”

Psalm 91:3:  “For He will deliver you from the snare of the fowler and from the deadly pestilence;…”

Psalm 91:6 :  “…nor the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor the destruction that wastes at noonday.”

Psalm 105:16:  “… When He summoned a famine on the land, and broke every staff of bread, ….”

Psalms 106:29-30:   “… they provoked the LORD to anger with their doings, and a plague broke out among them. Then Phin’ehas stood up and interposed, and the plague was stayed (and that has been reckoned to him as righteousness….)”

 

Gospels, ACTS, Romans

Many of the Gospel verses mentioning plagues and famines include end times warnings, or demonstrate Christ’s (God’s) power over plague and famine.

Matt 24:7:  “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom, and there will be famines and earthquakes in various places…”

Mark 13:8:  “For nation will rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom; there will be earthquakes in various places, there will be famines; this is but the beginning of the birth-pangs.”

Luke 7:21: In that hour He cured many of diseases and plagues and evil spirits, and on many that were blind He bestowed sight.”

Luke 15:14: “And when he had spent everything, a great famine arose in that country, and he began to be in want.”

Luke 21:11:    “… there will be great earthquakes, and in various places famines and pestilences; and there will be terrors and great signs from heaven.”

Acts 11:28:  “And one of them named Ag’abus stood up and foretold by the Spirit that there would be a great famine over all the world; and this took place in the days of Claudius.”

 

And, although not part of the Gospels or ACTS, it seems well to end on the quote from Romans which elevates our Hope:

Rom 8:35: “Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?”

Next and Last: Revelation (Apocalypse)

TX Bp: “Catholics can’t vote for pro-abort candidates”

May 26th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

 

Abortion advocates ‘not acceptable for leadership in our society’

TYLER, Texas (ChurchMilitant.com) –  EXCERPTS: “The most important foundational teaching and principle of Catholic Social Teaching is that every human life is sacred from conception to natural death,” says  Bp. Joseph Strickland of Tyler TX . “… they have an inherent dignity at every age and stage of their lives. … This truth is what informs our respect for every human life, whether that life is found in the first home of the womb, a wheelchair, a jail cell, a hospital room, a hospice, a senior center, a soup kitchen or on a refugee boat,” the bishop teaches.

Strickland provides an answer to those who consider abortion simply one issue among many in the world of politics. “The Right to Life position is, in one sense, not about an ‘issue’ at all,” he says. “The Pro-Life position is also a worldview, a lens through which we should view every political, cultural, social, and economic issue,” he continues, touching on the supernatural virtue of faith. “It should inform every aspect of our participation in society, especially the exercise of our citizenship.” That exercise of citizenship includes voting. Strickland recognizes that voting is a moral act, … not exempt from moral judgment.

“… it is impossible to enjoy any right without life.” The bishop’s words match the logic of the Declaration of Independence … life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness: One cannot pursue happiness without liberty, and one cannot enjoy liberty without life.

“Every procured abortion is the taking of innocent human life and is always and everywhere intrinsically immoral,” Strickland continues. “… there are no possible intentions or circumstances that could ever make the act of abortion good or morally acceptable. “Our absolute opposition to legalized abortion must be the first of the pre-eminent issues we consider in voting…”  Any candidate or political party which promotes abortion is precluded from any further consideration for a Catholic voter.  Even if a voter likes a candidate’s views on health care, immigration, education, taxes and the economy,  if the candidate supports abortion they are disqualified.

Strickland underscores the truth that people with good will and a well formed conscience could not possibly vote for someone who supports killing the innocent — at any stage of life. Hence, he notes, it is unacceptable for a Catholic to vote for someone who supports abortion.

https://www.churchmilitant.com/news/article/bp-strickland-catholics-must-not-vote-for-pro-abortion-candidates

The Mass: public or private?

May 26th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Note: the following discussion uses the contemporary (Covid-19 plague) jargon related to private and public Masses. While it is true that the words “sine populo” (“without the people”) has been used in the past to mean a private Mass, in practice the ‘understanding’ of the words has changed since March 17th, when the Catholic Church herself began using the words ‘public’ and ‘private’ to express with more clarity what the people have been experiencing.  It seems doubtful that the prior usage will return among the laity.

When a priest celebrates Mass, and locks the doors so no one else can get in, we call it a PRIVATE Mass.

When a priest celebrates Mass with unlocked doors, open to the world, we call it a PUBLIC Mass, even if no one shows up.

What is it called when a priest celebrates Mass and permits 9 other people to attend, in a locked Church to which no one else will be admitted? Semi-private? Semi-public?

No. It is still a private Mass as the laity understands it. Let’s not be misled by the illusion that many churches now have “public Masses.” No, they do not. They still are having private Masses which almost nobody is allowed to attend. And the people not admitted may feel worse than when nobody else was admitted.

 

It doesn’t matter if locking doors is on the priest’s own initiative, or on his bishop’s order, or on order of the governor of a state or the mayor of a backwater town. When Mass is being said with the doors locked, and you are on the outside and unable to get in, it is a private Mass and you are not invited. Let’s not complicate reality by calling those Masses “public,” as if progress had been made. Personal credibility demands we speak the truth.

What do you think? Some bishops are voluntarily delaying another week or two for often undisclosed reasons. Kudos to the ones objecting to the government’s man-handling the sacred worship, and creating distraction from the holy. Better that the bottom line should be “We will again hold public Mass when we are really ready to do so without compromise and with proper obedience and reverence to what the Catholic Church defines Mass should be.”

When President Trump called for the opening of churches last Friday, May 22, he said he was addressing the need of  ‘millions’ of people. He certainly won’t be getting access for “millions” at 10 people per church!

So you want to do more?

Here’s an idea: how about having a Mass said in Thanksgiving for Donald Trump’s forcing the reopening of Churches?

 

 

Trump to gov’s: Open the Churches!

May 22nd, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris
When we read through the following LifeSiteNews coverage, it quickly becomes obvious that 10 people in a church which holds hundreds is not what President Trump has in mind when he focuses on “millions of Americans” to whom he is responding and for whom he is reopening their Churches. If the Catholic Church settles for such crumbs under the table, for our Lord and Savior being mishandled as tokenism and as if He were a contagious disease, the Church will regret that move for generations. Trump called for an immediate opening; i.e. THIS weekend, May 23-24, 2020. We must not miss fully responding to such a vital offer, while we still have time.

Trump demands states let churches re-open: ‘If they don’t do it, I will override the governors’

‘The people are demanding to go to church and synagogue, go to their mosque – many millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life,’ said Trump.

WASHINGTON, D.C., May 22, 2020 (LifeSiteNews) – President Donald Trump today declared houses of worship “essential places that provide essential services,” saying they should be opened up right away and governors who get in the way will have to answer to him.

“Some governors have deemed liquor stores and abortion clinics as essential but have left out churches and other houses of worship. It’s not right,” said Trump. “So I’m correcting this injustice and calling houses of worship essential. The people are demanding to go to church and synagogue, go to their mosque – many millions of Americans embrace worship as an essential part of life.”

Many people of faith have complained that draconian coronavirus lockdowns unfairly targeted churches. Pastors who have held “parking lot” services during which parishioners stayed in their cars have been fined. One California county banned singing during live-streamed church services. When the Knoxville, Tennessee government began to allow people to go to church again, it told churches, “[t]he physical taking of communion/sacrament should not be performed due to the serial breaking of physical distancing across a congregation.” Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan banned Catholic priests from going within six feet of their parishioners.

In Virginia, Lighthouse Fellowship conducted a worship service with a congregation of 16 people practicing so-called social distancing in a facility that seats more than 200. The pastor faces a year in jail and/or a $2,500 fine. The Trump administration Department of Justice issued a Statement of Interest siding with the church, writing, “there is no pandemic exception to the Constitution and its Bill of Rights.”

New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy even told Tucker Carlson that he “wasn’t thinking of the Bill of Rights” when he banned religious gatherings. “That’s above my paygrade,” he said.The governor defended keeping liquor stores open while closing churches as important to his citizens’ mental health.  Shutting down liquor stores would have led to “unintended mental health and addiction prices to pay, unintended consequences,” he said.  A rabbi and a Catholic priest are suing Murphy over his order. A number of lawsuits in other states have been filed as well.

Trump emphasized, “I call upon governors to allow our churches and places of worship to open right now. If there’s any question, they’re gonna have to call me, but they’re not gonna be successful in that call. These are places that hold our society together and keep our people united.”

Trump began his press conference by thanking the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and saying the CDC would be releasing guidelines for religious gatherings soon. He said he trusts faith leaders to take proper steps to protect the health of their congregations.

“The ministers, pastors, rabbis, imams, and other faith leaders will make sure that their congregations are safe as they gather and pray,” said Trump. “I know them well. They love their congregations. They love their people. They don’t want anything bad to happen to them or to anybody else.”

He concluded, “The governors need to do the right thing and allow these very important essential places of faith to open right now, for this weekend. If they don’t do it, I will override the governors. In America, we need more prayer, not less.”

While many Protestant churches have responded to the coronavirus panic and subsequent shutdowns with “parking lot” services, every single Catholic diocese in the U.S. cancelled public Masses and some even banned the Last Rites. Dioceses around the country are slowly beginning to open their churches back up, although Holy Communion and other sacraments remain inaccessible to millions of American Catholics. The Catholic bishops of Minnesota along with Lutheran leaders announced this week that they will resume worship services on May 26 despite Governor Walz’s current COVID-19 executive order which allows retailers to operate at 50 percent capacity but caps church worship services at 10 people. They are backed by the lawyers at the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty.

In California, hundreds of pastors plan to defy Gov. Gavin Newsom’s ban on religious gatherings on May 31.

https://www.lifesitenews.com/news/trump-deems-churches-essential-demands-governors-allow-them-to-reopen-immediately?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com&utm_campaign=becacbc1fc-Daily%2520Headlines%2520-%2520U.S._COPY_766&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12387f0e3e-becacbc1fc-401405341

What day is it?

May 21st, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

“What day is it?” is one of the first questions the medical screener in the emergency room might ask to see if the patient is well-oriented. So, too, a post surgical nurse might ask the same question to assess recovery. And the medic evaluating an accident victim at the site might ask something similar to help with the triage. The right answer matters. However, if confronted by such a question next Sunday, a few days from now, it might be a head-scratching experience for the medic to hear “Well it must be Ascension Thursday!”

Ash Wednesday can’t be on a Saturday. Holy Thursday can’t be on a Sunday. And certainly there is only one day of the week for Good Friday and Easter Sunday. Right?

Except, apparently, for Ascension Thursday. Today.  A Solemnity. In many dioceses it is celebrated not on Thursday, 40 days after Christ’s Resurrection, but on the following Sunday, 43 days later.  And that makes Pentecost 7 days after the Ascension rather than 10, which leaves not enough time for the first 9-day novena!

I am grateful that is one change that the Diocese of Rochester hasn’t made. Rather than argue from Scripture or even Hebrew tradition, it seems more important to wonder about WHY Thursday was moved to Sunday. Until a much more profound excuse is offered, I’ll retain the opinion that it seems more for the convenience of man than of honoring God. Are those who bemoaned losing Masses for most of Lent and Eastertide now pleased to have one less Mass of Obligation?  Today is a good day to examine conscience on that question, as practice so often degrades to making our lives simpler and giving less to God.

For those interested in not getting a two-fer on Sunday, here is a link to a 7PM Mass tonight celebrating Ascension Thursday.

https://youtu.be/xCHD9YEoGio

Why not post your own links to your local Ascension Thursday Mass?

And for those who wonder if Thursday isn’t on Sunday, what is? The answer is “The 7th Sunday of Easter.”

 

Msgr. Charles Pope’s thoughtful call to restart public Masses

May 18th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

https://www.lifesitenews.com/opinion/we-cant-let-coronavirus-fear-paralyze-our-society-time-to-resume-public-masses?utm_source=LifeSiteNews.com&utm_campaign=337e1082dc-Daily%2520Headlines%2520-r%2520U.S._COPY_762&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_12387f0e3e-337e1082dc-401405341

Msgr. Charles Pope, well known for his regular appearances on EWTN’s Morning Glory Show, was himself a serious victim earlier this year of COVID-19 (which we should be regularly calling a plague instead of just a ‘virus’). He has had plenty of opportunity and understanding to have an opinion on the reopening of Holy Mass to the public.  LifeSiteNews has covered Msgr. Pope’s recommendations here.

It is time now for Cleansing Fire’s readers to begin offering their opinions and concerns. Please read the full article re Msgr. Pope first; it will help our communication. Especially (but not solely) I extend that offer to our followers in the Diocese of Rochester, NY, where CF first sprang up with its own voice a decade ago. Time to input on restarting Masses for the flock is now.

In the next few days, I also will offer some thoughts, but don’t want to hold up dissemination of Msgr. Pope’s writing while I do my own.

Excerpts from Msgr. Pope’s Call to resume public Masses

“I accept that some degree of protective measures is necessary to protect the vulnerable and to minimize the spread of the disease…. I am sympathetic … that the ‘cure should not be worse than the disease.’”

“For a Catholic, living means the Holy Mass, receiving the sacraments and gathering for communal worship.” … we must face our fears and accept that illness, suffering and death are a part of life in this world we call “Paradise Lost.” Life is filled with countless risks; …. To be cognizant of risks and to try to minimize them is wise but to avoid all risk is neither possible nor healthy.”

” For believers, trusting in God’s care and in what he has provided to keep us healthy plays an important part in overcoming our fear.”

“We have to accept the hard truth that people die. They die of many things, COVID-19 among them…. It is alarming to me as a priest and believer how little we as a Church have had to say about death. Death is a reality, but it is not something we should excessively fear. Christ

Msgr. Charles Pope

conquered death and made it a doorway to the glory of Heaven for the faithful.”

“We all have a natural fear of death, especially the dying process itself, but as Christians we are taught to confront and conquer our fear of death. The grace to do so has been given to us by Christ…. Death is not the end; it is a birth unto new life. For the faithful Christian, the day of our death is the greatest day of our life.” 

“… far more than grieving is going on in this current situation. What we have today is a gripping fear that so dreads suffering and death that almost everything else must be sacrificed…. Much of this, I am convinced, is because in this increasingly secular world, suffering and death have lost their meaning.”

“… the widespread, gripping fear in the face of this virus is unprecedented in my lifetime. I have never seen anything like it. Its worldwide scope tells me that it is demonic in origin, and thus the Church must speak more vigorously to exorcize the demons of fear. Instead we have remained strangely quiet.”

“We have allowed … bullying and misrepresentation of our views to silence us… the paralyzing fear manifest in the news reports and displayed by many Americans is destructive as well as unbecoming.”

———————————————————————————————————————————————————

Please read the whole article at the link first shown above.

I will only add here, for now, that Msgr. Pope’s identification of paralysis by fear of death is a good explanation, IMO, of the frozen inability to act soundly by many prelates, who fail themselves, their priests, their missions and their flocks by essentially doing nothing, and would prefer to be led by the leash of government around their necks than by their own defective or cowardly consciences. See open letter to the bishops who have shut down their dioceses: https://fromrome.info/2020/03/18/open-letter-to-the-bishops-who-have-shut-down-their-dioceses/

More soon. 

Heresy among the Hierarchy? Part IV: vs. Ezekiel et al

May 16th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

While not offering as many relevant verses as Jeremiah, Ezekiel’s words are no less graphic. In Chapter 5, verses 9 -11, although the words we are searching (plague[s] and pestilence[s] and famine[s]) do not specifically occur, how can anyone doubt that the reference in those three introductory verses is to cannibalism, resulting from famine? What is unique in verse 9 is something which God promises never to do again, just like He promises in Genesis never again to destroy the world with flood. He has said he will not unleash again the dire straits of eating human flesh. But He has not made any promises to withhold plague, pestilence and famine.

Eze 5:9-11

“And because of all your abominations I will do with you what I have never yet done, and the like of which I will never do again. Therefore fathers shall eat their sons in the midst of you, and sons shall eat their fathers; and I will execute judgments on you, and any of you who survive I will scatter to all the winds.Wherefore, as I live, says the Lord GOD, surely, because you have defiled My sanctuary with all your detestable things and with all your abominations, therefore I will cut you down; My eye will not spare, and I will have no pity.”

Eze 5:12

“A third part of you shall die of pestilence and be consumed with famine in the midst of you; a third part shall fall by the sword round about you; and a third part I will scatter to all the winds and will unsheathe the sword after them.”

Eze 5:16-17

“… when I loose against you my deadly arrows of famine, arrows for destruction, which I will loose to destroy you, and when I bring more and more famine upon you, and break your staff of bread. I will send famine and wild beasts against you, and they will rob you of your children; pestilence and blood shall pass through you; and I will bring the sword upon you. I, the LORD, have spoken.”

 Eze 6:11-12

“Thus says the Lord GOD: ‘Clap your hands, and stamp your foot, and say, Alas! because of all the evil abominations of the house of Israel; for they shall fall by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence. He that is far off shall die of pestilence; and he that is near shall fall by the sword; and he that is left and is preserved shall die of famine. Thus I will spend my fury upon them.”

Eze 7:15

“The sword is without, pestilence and famine are within; he that is in the field dies by the sword; and him that is in the city famine and pestilence devour.”

Eze 12:16

“But I will let a few of them escape from the sword, from famine and pestilence, that they may confess all their abominations among the nations where they go, and may know that I am the LORD.”

 Eze 14:13

“Son of man, when a land sins against me by acting faithlessly, and I stretch out my hand against it, and break its staff of bread and send famine upon it, and cut off from it man and beast, ….”

 Eze 14:19

“Or if I send a pestilence into that land, and pour out my wrath upon it with blood, to cut off from it man and beast; ….”

 Eze 14:21

“For thus says the Lord GOD: How much more when I send upon Jerusalem my four sore acts of judgment, sword, famine, evil beasts, and pestilence, to cut off from it man and beast!”

 Eze 28:23

“… for I will send pestilence into her, and blood into her streets; and the slain shall fall in the midst of her, by the sword that is against her on every side. Then they will know that I am the LORD.”

 Eze 33:27

“Say this to them, Thus says the Lord GOD: As I live, surely those who are in the waste places shall fall by the sword; and him that is in the open field I will give to the beasts to be devoured; and those who are in strongholds and in caves shall die by pestilence.”

 Eze 36:29-30

[God’s promises in reconciliation:] “And I will deliver you from all your uncleannesses; and I will summon the grain and make it abundant and lay no famine upon you. I will make the fruit of the tree and the increase of the field abundant, that you may never again suffer the disgrace of famine among the nations.”

 Eze 38:22

[Regarding judgment upon Gog:] “With pestilence and bloodshed I will enter into judgment with him; and I will rain upon him and his hordes and the many peoples that are with him, torrential rains and hailstones, fire and brimstone.”

 

Other Prophets

The final major prophet we mention is Daniel, but none of those word searches mention plague, pestilence or famine. But there are mentions in seven verses among the four minor prophets: Hosea, Amos and Habakkuk and Zechariah. Of particular interest in these times of closed churches and missing Masses, we might ask if Amos’ prophecy isn’t already coming true, that we have a famine of hearing the words of the Lord?

 

Amo 4:10

“I sent among you a pestilence after the manner of Egypt; I slew your young men with the sword; I carried away your horses; and I made the stench of your camp go up into your nostrils; yet you did not return to me,” says the LORD.”

 Amo 8:11

“‘Behold, the days are coming,’ says the Lord GOD, ‘when I will send a famine on the land; not a famine of bread, nor a thirst for water, but of hearing the words of the LORD.'”

 Hos 13:14

“Shall I ransom them from the power of Sheol? Shall I redeem them from Death? O Death, where are your plagues? O Sheol, where is your destruction? Compassion is hid from My eyes.”

 Hab 3:5

“Before him went pestilence, and plague followed close behind.”

 Zec 14:12

“And this shall be the plague with which the LORD will smite all the peoples that wage war against Jerusalem: their flesh shall rot while they are still on their feet, their eyes shall rot in their sockets, and their tongues shall rot in their mouths.”

 Zec 14:15

“And a plague like this plague shall fall on the horses, the mules, the camels, the asses, and whatever beasts may be in those  camps.”

 Zec 14:18

“And if the family of Egypt do not go up and present themselves, then upon them shall come the plague with which the LORD  afflicts the nations that do not go up to keep the feast of booths.”

 

Some thoughts about Malachi

The last nearly 500 years before Christ have a lack of Prophets, at least preserved in the Scriptures. Zechariah is one of the last ones in Judah; Malachi is generally considered the last. His famous prophecy is one we hear during Advent: “Behold, I send My messenger to prepare the way before Me, and the Lord whom you seek will suddenly come to His temple; the messenger of the covenant in whom you delight, behold, He is coming, says the LORD of hosts.” (Malachi 3:1) But, while descriptive of the Nativity, the words of Malachi are perhaps also descriptive of the second coming of Christ.

The next verse (Malachi 3:2) states:  “But who can endure the day of His coming, and who can stand when He appears?” The same sins of old which provoked God’s causing pestilence and famine are not far from the door of His People today. Abortion is clearly a charge against all of mankind (in what has been done, and in what has not been done), and deserving of punishment, i.e. a ‘cleansing’ before He comes. Perhaps the current plague has somewhat of this kind of role?

If we are obedient to His Laws, the Lord will “rebuke the devourer.” (Malachi 3:11: I will rebuke the devourer for you, so that it will not destroy the fruits of your soil; and your vine in the field shall not fail to bear, says the LORD of hosts.) The ‘devourer’ is the locust and a key element of famine. In the past year, through Africa and up into China, the locusts have been out of control and crops are destroyed.

Similarly, Malachi uses a famine sort of language for preparation for the second coming of the Lord: “For behold, the day comes, burning like an oven, when all the arrogant and all evildoers will be stubble; the day that comes shall burn them up, says the LORD of hosts, so that it will leave them neither root nor branch.” (Malachi 4:1) When we get to Revelation in this multi-part study, we will see an echo of these words.

Sword, plague, pestilence, famine.  We are all in the Hands of God.

Heresy among the Hierarchy? Part III: vs. Jeremiah

May 13th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

There is perhaps no better prophet to look to in focusing on the split between faithful priests who serve the flock and the selfish shepherds (the false prophets) who exploit the sheep and ridicule the faithful. So, it is not a surprise to have a plethora of warnings regarding plague, pestilence and famine in the Book of the Prophet Jeremiah. The following quotes are a bit repetitious but that is fully appropriate, as the LORD gave them many warnings, ordering clearly that they surrender to the King of Babylon or be subjected to the sword, plague and famine; but the people refused, led astray by the “prophecy” of all but Jeremiah whom they derided. Are not the false prophets reminiscent of the Catholic Church Prelates of today who publicly lead the people astray when they aver that God does not send plague and pestilence? Who else but God has this much power over the entire earth at the same time, who can unleash it (let it be unleashed) or stop it up? Is there any basis to think that famine will not follow such a pandemic?

Jer 5:12

“They [the false prophets] have spoken falsely of the LORD, and have said, ‘He will do nothing; no evil will come upon us, nor shall we see sword or famine.”

 Jer 11:22

“… therefore thus says the LORD of hosts: ‘Behold, I will punish them; the young men shall die by the sword; their sons and their daughters shall die by famine; ….'”

 Jer 14:12,13 and 15.16

Though they fast, I will not hear their cry, and though they offer burnt offering and cereal offering, I will not accept them; but I will consume them by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence.”  Then I said: ‘Ah, Lord GOD, behold, the prophets say to them, ‘You shall not see the sword, nor shall you have famine, but I will give you assured peace in this place’.'” … “Therefore thus says the LORD concerning the prophets who prophesy in My Name although I did not send them, and who say, ‘Sword and famine shall not come on this land’: By sword and famine those prophets shall be consumed.’ And the people to whom they prophesy shall be cast out in the streets of Jerusalem, victims of famine and sword, with none to bury them–them, their wives, their sons, and their daughters. For I will pour out their wickedness upon them.'”

 Jer 14:18

“If I go out into the field, behold, those slain by the sword! And if I enter the city, behold, the diseases of famine! For both prophet and priest ply their trade through the land, and have no knowledge.”

 Jer 15:2

“And when they ask you, ‘Where shall we go?’ you shall say to them, Thus says the LORD: ‘Those who are for pestilence, to pestilence, and those who are for the sword, to the sword; those who are for famine, to famine, and those who are for captivity, to captivity.”‘

 Jer 16:4

“They shall die of deadly diseases. They shall not be lamented, nor shall they be buried; they shall be as dung on the surface of the ground. They shall perish by the sword and by famine, and their dead bodies shall be food for the birds of the air and for the beasts of the earth.”

 Jer 18:21

“Therefore deliver up their children to famine; give them over to the power of the sword, let their wives become childless and widowed. May their men meet death by pestilence, their youths be slain by the sword in battle.”

Jer 21:6-7 “And I will smite the inhabitants of this city, both man and beast; they shall die of a great pestilenceAfterward, says the LORD, I will give Zedeki’ah king of Judah, and his servants, and the people in this city who survive the pestilence, sword, and famine, into the hand of Nebuchadrez’zar king of Babylon and into the hand of their enemies, into the hand of those who seek their lives. He shall smite them with the edge of the sword; he shall not pity them, or spare them, or have compassion.”

 Jer 21:9

He who stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but he who goes out and surrenders to the Chalde’ans who are besieging you shall live and shall have his life as a prize of war.”

Jer 24:10

“And I will send sword, famine, and pestilence upon them, until they shall be utterly destroyed from the land which I gave to them and their fathers.”

Jer 27:8

“But if any nation or kingdom will not serve this Nebuchadnez’zar king of Babylon, and put its neck under the yoke of the king of Babylon, I will punish that nation with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, says the LORD, until I have consumed it by his hand.”

 Jer 27:13

“Why will you and your people die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence, as the LORD has spoken concerning any nation which will not serve the king of Babylon?”

 Jer 28:8

“The prophets who preceded you and me from ancient times prophesied war, famine, and pestilence against many countries and great kingdoms.”

Jer 29:17-18

“Thus says the LORD of hosts, ‘Behold, I am sending on them sword, famine, and pestilence, and I will make them like vile figs which are so bad they cannot be eaten. I will pursue them with sword, famine, and pestilence, and will make them a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth, to be a curse, a terror, a hissing, and a reproach among all the nations where I have driven them’, ….”

Jer 32:24

“Behold, the siege mounds have come up to the city to take it, and because of sword and famine and pestilence the city is given into the hands of the Chalde’ans who are fighting against it. What thou didst speak has come to pass, and behold, thou seest it.” 

 Jer 32:36

“Now therefore thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, concerning this city of which you say, ‘It is given into the hand of the king of Babylon by sword, by famine, and by pestilence‘: ….”

 Jer 34:17

“Therefore, thus says the LORD: You have not obeyed Me by proclaiming liberty, every one to his brother and to his neighbor; behold, I proclaim to you liberty to the sword, to pestilence, and to famine, says the LORD. I will make you a horror to all the kingdoms of the earth.”

 Jer 38:2

“Thus says the LORD, He who stays in this city shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; but he who goes out to the Chalde’ans shall live; he shall have his life as a prize of war, and live.”

Jer 42:16

“… then the sword which you fear shall overtake you there in the land of Egypt; and the famine of which you are afraid shall follow hard after you to Egypt; and there you shall die.”

 Jer 42:17

“All the men who set their faces to go to Egypt to live there shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence; they shall have no remnant or survivor from the evil which I will bring upon them.”

 Jer 42:22

“Now therefore know for a certainty that you shall die by the sword, by famine, and by pestilence in the place where you desire to go to live.”

 Jer 43:11

“He shall come and smite the land of Egypt, giving to the pestilence those who are doomed to the pestilence, to captivity those who are doomed to captivity, and to the sword those who are doomed to the sword.”

 Jer 44:12,13

“I will take the remnant of Judah who have set their faces to come to the land of Egypt to live, and they shall all be consumed; in the land of Egypt they shall fall; by the sword and by famine they shall be consumed; from the least to the greatest, they shall die by the sword and by famine; and they shall become an execration, a horror, a curse, and a taunt. I will punish those who dwell in the land of Egypt, as I have punished Jerusalem, with the sword, with famine, and with pestilence, ….”

 Jer 44:18

“But since we left off burning incense to the queen of heaven [an idol] and pouring out libations to her, we have lacked everything and have been consumed by the sword and by famine.”

 Jer 44:27

“Behold, I am watching over them for evil and not for good; all the men of Judah who are in the land of Egypt shall be consumed by the sword and by famine, until there is an end of them.”

 Jer 52:6

“On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city, that there was no food for the people of the land.”

 

Where is Isaiah?

The reader may have been surprised not to find Isaiah’s quotes ahead of Jeremiah’s, given their relative placement in the bible. But Isaiah, for a very long book, has only two famine verses and none for plague or pestilence. The translation being used in these posts is the RSV; it may be that other translations would choose different vocabulary.

Isa 14:30

And the first-born of the poor will feed, and the needy lie down in safety; but I will kill your root with famine, and your remnant I will slay.

 Isa 51:19

These two things have befallen you–who will condole with you?–devastation and destruction, famine and sword; who will comfort you?

 

Warning! Is “One World Religion” on the move?

May 13th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Without much notice, the Fatima pilgrimage site is shut down today (May 13), on the Feast of Our Lady of Fatima!

Without much notice, tomorrow (May 14) is announced as a world wide day of prayer by The Higher Committee of Human Fraternity, established between Pope Francis and the IMAM at their meeting in Abu Dhabi. And the Pope is asking for Catholic involvement.

https://gulfnews.com/uae/uaes-higher-committee-of-human-fraternity-calls-for-religious-unity-in-response-to-covid-19-1.71451478

“Higher” — Higher than what? So high that the Pope of the Roman Catholic Church calls on her members to join in prayer with every other faith form, before God, putting aside differences as if they don’t matter? That is exactly the behavior to be expected from One World Religion, and it has just made its move. Why do we have to go to God as a committee with unbelievers? or mis-believers? Doesn’t He hear every heart, even when it is the only heart praying. We pray as One when we are One, and that does not include Oneness in wanting a virus to go away. It is about Oneness in Faith. But it is a good opportunity to get us used to obeying a call from the globalists, intruding on Catholics’ prayer life. No. No. No.

 

Let’s pray today

to Our Lady of Fatima

for all our needs,

including to stay free

from a “One World Religion”

 

The danger of bad shepherds

May 12th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Heresy among the Hierarchy? Part II: vs. Kings & Chronicles

May 8th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

In Part I, we only looked at some of the verses regarding plague(s), pestilence(s) and famine(s) from the 5 books of the Torah which were written by Moses, and showing that God indeed has sent such chastisements on His People. In Part II below we’ll look at some of those same word references in the books oriented to the history of Israel as recorded in Samuel, Kings and Chronicles. Reminder: What is the ‘hierarchical heresy’ we are refuting? It’s the opinion publicly proclaimed by some prelates that God does not and would not ever send plague or pestilence or famine on His People (Israelites or Christians.) Extra verses added 5/11/20.

1Sa 4:8

Woe to us! Who can deliver us from the power of these mighty gods? These are the gods who smote the Egyptians with every sort of plague in the wilderness.

2Sa 21:1

“Now there was a famine in the days of David for three years, year after year; and David sought the face of the LORD. And the LORD said, ‘There is bloodguilt on Saul and on his house, because he put the Gib’eonites to death.'”

2Sa 24:13-15

“So Gad came to David and told him, and said to him, ‘Shall three years of famine come to you in your land? Or will you flee three months before your foes while they pursue you? Or shall there be three days’ pestilence in your land? Now consider, and decide what answer I shall return to Him who sent me.’ Then David said to Gad,’I am in great distress; let us fall into the hand of  the Lord, for His mercy is great; but let me not fall into the hand of man.’ So the LORD sent a pestilence upon Israel from the morning until the appointed time; and there died of the people from Dan to Beer-sheba seventy thousand men.”

 2Sa 24:21

And Arau’nah said, “Why has my lord the king come to his servant?” David said, “To buy the threshing floor of you, in order to build an altar to the LORD, that the plague may be averted from the people.”

 2Sa 24:25

And David built there an altar to the LORD, and offered burnt offerings and peace offerings. So the LORD heeded supplications for the land, and the plague was averted from Israel.

 1Ki 8:37

“If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar; if their enemy besieges them in any of their cities; whatever plague, whatever sickness there is;

2Ki 4:38

“And Eli’sha came again to Gilgal when there was a famine in the land. And as the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he said to his servant, “Set on the great pot, and boil pottage for the sons of the prophets.”

2Ki 6:25

“And there was a great famine in Sama’ria, as they besieged it, until an ass’s head was sold for eighty shekels of silver, and the fourth part of a kab of dove’s dung for five shekels of silver.”

2Ki 7:4

“If we say, ‘Let us enter the city,’ the famine is in the city, and we shall die there; and if we sit here, we die also. So now come, let us go over to the camp of the Syrians; if they spare our lives we shall live, and if they kill us we shall but die.”

2Ki 8:1

Now Eli’sha had said to the woman whose son he had restored to life, ‘Arise, and depart with your household, and sojourn wherever you can; for the LORD has called for a famine, and it will come upon the land for seven years.'”

2Ki 25:3

“On the ninth day of the fourth month the famine was so severe in the city that there was no food for the people of the land.”

1Ch 21:17

And David said to God, “Was it not I who gave command to number the people? It is I who have sinned and done very wickedly. But these sheep, what have they done? Let Thy hand, I pray thee, O LORD my God, be against me and against my father’s house; but let not the plague be upon Thy people.”

1Ch 21:22

And David said to Ornan, “Give me the site of the threshing floor that I may build on it an altar to the LORD–give it to me at its full price–that the plague may be averted from the people.”

 2Ch 6:28

“If there is famine in the land, if there is pestilence or blight or mildew or locust or caterpillar; if their enemies besiege them in any of their cities; whatever plague, whatever sickness there is;

“When I shut up the heavens so that there is no rain, or command the locust to devour the land, or send pestilence among My people, if My people who are called by My Name humble themselves, and pray and seek My face, and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin and heal their land.”
“If evil comes upon us, the sword, judgment, or pestilence, or famine, we will stand before this house, and before Thee, for Thy Name is in this house, and cry to Thee in our affliction, and Thou wilt hear and save.”

2Ch 21:14

“… behold, the LORD will bring a great plague on your people, your children, your wives, and all your possessions,….”

2Ch 32:11

“Is not Hezeki’ah misleading you, that he may give you over to die by famine and by thirst, when he tells you, ‘The LORD our God will deliver us from the hand of the king of Assyria’?

 

What else do we learn from Kings and Chronicles (1 and 2 Samuel are called  1 and 2 Kings in the Septuagint)? When God gave Samuel permission to yield to the people’s demand for an earthly ruler like the other countries, He did not surrender the power He always held to warn and to discipline through the sword (wars, which continue even today), plague/pestilence, and famine. Nor has God ever conveyed to mankind the power to change climate and weather, over which He has sole control. Some are amused today that when people lived closer to the land, it was common to offer Mass and prayer for good growing seasons, and nurturing weather. It is easy to forget that those needs are just as important today as they ever were. We are just less aware.

Then, suddenly, flash floods and wildfires out of control remind us of our own lack of power. If there is something deserving of amusement, it is the belief from the so-called intelligentsia among the globalists that by using up the resources of the world, and killing billions of people alive today to reduce total population, that somehow the world would be saved. Let us say to them: “The world has already been saved — by Jesus Christ.  We have no need of a tutorial in how to live together AND care for the environment by some wooden idol. We have no need of being instructed by those who would miss even the first couple questions in a first-grader’s catechism: “Who made me?” “Why did God make me?” and “Who is God?” People who don’t truly know the answers to such questions have no right to lead others.

We also see in God’s promises that it is possible to stay His Hand against the people if they convert and repent of their sins. Can we even imagine what the world would be like if everyone prayed for an end to abortion? There is much argument about whether or not the current pandemic is punishment by God for our sins. I would say ‘no,’ because what we are going through in no way approximates the justice required for punishment of the very great evils perpetrated. But it seems more likely that this is a caution to us to stop what we are doing, and get back to the catechism, to worshiping God and to true repentance.

So Part II above supports the point made earlier that God does use plagues, pestilence and famine, in the long run, to save His flock.

Non-essential Services — Catholic Family Center

May 5th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

It has taken several days to get past the anger regarding Catholic Family Center’s recent “services” debacle, ensnaring the most vulnerable, and ignoring truth and reality on multiple subjects.

So what do 500+ employees of Catholic Family Center actually do? In CFC’s articulation of its own mission, its website states:

“Our Mission: Catholic Family Center partners  with people – especially the vulnerable and those facing poverty – to help them achieve their full human potential. A division of Catholic Charities of the Diocese of Rochester, CFC offers compassionate and comprehensive services to families and individuals in need across all stages of life.”

 

So, let’s consider first what makes for “full human potential.” It can be nothing less than achievement of eternal life and the joy of the Beatific Vision. It is not about comfort, money, health, knowledge, environment or myriad other desires; it is simply about ‘whatever it takes’ to receive the gift of eternal life. It is really quite a simple and beautiful goal. But that is why it is so confusing, so illogical, and so dangerous that alleged parts of the church, although inconsistent with Church Teaching, seem to reject the good, and embrace what is evil or, at the least, what is meaningless and lacks spiritual value. In that tone, we note the preoccupation of Catholic Family Center, among others, about idolatry of “mother earth” or, as it was called during the Amazonia Synod: “pachamama.” CFC’s preoccupation with such idolatry is indeed a “non-essential” service. Send those employees home, or at least recognize that donations to CFC can only proportionally be deductible, eliminating what is political, for example. Worse than any impropriety under claiming 401(c)3 exempt status not deserved is the effect on souls, their relying on CFC’s credibility as “Catholic” in unrelated matters.

In CFC’s April and May issues, in the “Salt and Light” attachments, there is celebratory language about the 50th anniversary of Earth Day (if things are so bad, what is there to celebrate after 50 years of trying?) and the 5th anniversary of Pope Francis’ encyclical “Laudato Si,” which was the subject of the book “Half a Dialogue” which I wrote in reply to Pope Francis’  invitation to comment on his encyclical.  The rough draft  is still partly on CF.

First, let’s be specific about how the Catholic Family Center has gone astray, potentially risking souls as well.

 

Paradise on Earth? Nope. Christ never promised us such a thing.

It’s hard enough keeping our souls weeded through frequent confession!

Worse, redirecting our time, energy and resources to creating paradise on earth is a waste of effort. For we know from all three synoptic gospels, that :

“Heaven and earth will pass away, but My words will not pass away.”

That truth certainly does not endorse treating the earth without responsibility, but one can’t build a religion around environmentalism. Why is it even implied? It is because there is a myth, a distortion, an error that claims if we all could just be one religion, worshiping the environment, all would be beautiful and perfect. It is directly a rejection of Christ Himself, and all that He taught.  Notice: He did not add an extra Corporal Work of Mercy re the environment to Matthew 25!

The Catholic Family Center plays to the myth of Climate Change.  It is one of the biggest hoaxes foisted on the world. It is actually a socialist strategy for redistribution of wealth. One example from a conference in Brazil chaired by Bp. Bergoglio is to tax other countries for the oxygen they consume, produced by the Amazon. Even if one didn’t believe the foregoing viewpoint, it is nevertheless completely inappropriate to use a tax exempt organization’s written communications to take sides and lend any credibility to such a contentious viewpoint.

If one is unsure of the claim of climate change, just consider if there is anything at all in the Gospels, or even in the entire New Testament, which claims that Jesus repaired an environmental blight. Did He ever condemn someone’s actions against the environment? Revelation does warn of environmental effects which will come in the endtimes, but from the Hand of God, not from climate change. Does Christ ever mention watching for such a sign of the endtimes? One unrealistic claim in what CFC states is the idea that humans can change climate. No we can’t. In all the stewardship conferred by God to Mankind, climate and weather are not mentioned. So, if we can’t fix it, how can we cause it?

One strange connection being drawn without logic seems to be linking the pandemic to some kind of failure in environmental stewardship. It is almost as if the writers are delighted to find something else to bolster their claim to a crusade for managing the weather! Such a link is claimed without any proof, even by Pope Francis who describes it as ‘mother’ earth having an emotional tantrum due to human alleged neglect.

But God is the author of most plagues and pestilences, so why not say so? Aah! because that would acknowledge God, in Whose Hands all things rest. And which no human effort will wrest from His Hands. It is quite odd to find in the CFC’s writings arguments regarding restarting the economy slowly so as not to disturb factors over which we have no control or knowledge anyway; i.e. as if they really knew what “jump start the auto industry” actually means. These ignorant masses just slavishly bow to the few who know but won’t disclose the true meaning. The definitions seem to take on a life of their own.

The Catholic Family Center, by embracing the language of idolatry, makes itself party to that cause. A “Pachamama Alliance”? That despicable hunk of wood which besmirched the Vatican Gardens, St. Peter’s Basilica, the Carmelite Church? and even the Pope Himself? The evil one must be rejoicing.

A Catholic Climate “Covenant” — another holy word of agreement with God becomes agreement among the people He created, now despoiled by joining those who oppose God. It is reminiscent of the determination of the people who built the Tower of Babel! Both of these are about choosing up sides, and we are indeed invited to choose. God is “pro-choice” in the sense that He makes us choose. What will it be? Goat or Sheep? Weeds or wheat? We can never say we were forced to accept Pachamama.

Finally, although relatively incomplete, I will add CFC’s being a shill for the Democratic Party, or the ‘left’ if one prefers, as the party itself seems to be falling apart. CFC has apparently run a list of “10 things to do in the next 10 years to save the earth.” Let’s just look at the last one which says more than it is meant to say.

Note the glaring gall to presume we can save the earth. Christ saved souls. God created the world. Do we dare assume with such magnificence and munificence that He is incapable of saving His own creation? That He didn’t give us the means to endure until He returns? And, if we don’t have the means, then He must be coming. Soon. “Come, Lord Jesus.” Let’s not hold it up!  But certain parts of the Church and of humanity are so incensed at the idea of bowing to what God has done, and to Whom God is, that they dare to think they are needed to sustain His work. What arrogance. Ten years? That even assumes we have 10 years remaining. We may be surprised. And is cleaning up plastic how you’d like to spend your last 10 years on earth?

So, then there is the usual left-hood rallying call to lobby for the absurd “Green New Deal” which would surely bankrupt America, and that is more the purpose than anything green (unless its green American dollars in the pocket!) And what is that tiny print, unreadable to many, which purports not to be urging voting for any particular party or candidate. Hogwash. It is very clearly begging for votes for the left. “New Deal” is coined from the historic program under FDR. No minuscule lettering can change that intent. Elsewhere in its materials CFC notes the role it plays in managing CRS and CCHD funds, which inadequacies and conflicts of interest are mentioned elsewhere on Cleansing Fire.

Where the Catholic Family Center fails overwhelmingly on behalf of families is in not standing up and praising the most pro-life president we have ever had, who keeps his promises, and has steered more funds toward the kind of work CFC should be doing, including in encouraging their clients and would-be-clients to hold all representatives accountable who murder in the womb, and at  birth, the tiniest and most vulnerable human beings — just like Andrew Cuomo sponsored and celebrated. He, and the CFC, shouldn’t have the right to call themselves “Catholic.” 

Heresy among the Hierarchy? Part I: vs. Torah

May 3rd, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Without naming names (as least for the moment), it is past the time now to respond to those prelates of the Catholic Church who unabashedly and without apology apparently misrepresent the mind and will of God. Blithely, one after another church leader states some variant of “Don’t worry. God doesn’t kill with plagues or pestilence. This Wuhan-virus didn’t come from Him. He wouldn’t do that to His creation.” Balderdash! God not only would do so, but has already done so in numerous circumstances. Our defensive prelates are either protecting their own lack of knowledge of the Old Testament or thinking wishfully; i.e. “Not on my watch He wouldn’t.” So, is it realistic to have an expectation that a loving God wouldn’t use plagues, pestilence or famine to discipline His creation? The simplest explanation is that God loves us too much NOT to do whatever is necessary to save our souls, without infringing our free will. Saving our bodies seems of lesser concern to Him Who is eternal, the One Who wants to give us that same gift.

There are over 7,000 words in the bible associated with plague, pestilence and/or famine. And many of those outcomes are from the Hand of God, but not all. For example, the famine in Egypt during the time of Joseph would seem to allow for various interpretations of cause. Others, like the 10 plagues associated with the Chosen People’s leaving Egypt, are clearly at the Hand of God.

There are too many references to include all in one post; however, only to do a smattering of references makes it too easy to dismiss God’s priority and practice of using various methods to remind us of our responsibilities. So the next few posts will include the references which seem most to be at the Hands of God, the most relevant biblical quotes in which Almighty God is identified as causing plague, pestilence and/or famine, beginning in Genesis through to the promises and threats of Revelation. Not all are against Israel; but those against His People are quite startling, some of similar impact as the Wuhan-virus. But while His People today continue in denial, what is the chance of mitigating these chastisements? In this post we look only at the references from the Torah (Pentateuch), that is the first 5 books of the Old Testament: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers and Deuteronomy. Hopefully, some reading of just the references will whet the appetite to explore the context further.

Gen 12:17

“But the LORD afflicted Pharaoh and his house with great plagues because of Sar’ai, Abram’s wife.”

Exo 5:3

“Then they said, “The God of the Hebrews has met with us; let us go, we pray, a three days’ journey into the wilderness, and sacrifice to the LORD our God, lest He fall upon us with pestilence or with the sword.”

Exo 8:2

“But if you refuse to let them go, behold, I will plague all your country with frogs;….”

Exo 9:3

“… behold, the hand of the LORD will fall with a very severe plague upon your cattle which are in the field, the horses, the asses, the camels, the herds, and the flocks.”

 Exo 9:15

“For by now I could have put forth my hand and struck you and your people with pestilence, and you would have been cut off from the earth;…”

Exo 11:1

“The LORD said to Moses, ‘Yet one plague more I will bring upon Pharaoh and upon Egypt; afterwards he will let you go hence; when he lets you go, he will drive you away completely.'”

 Exo 12:13

“The blood shall be a sign for you, upon the houses where you are; and when I see the blood, I will pass over you, and no plague shall fall upon you to destroy you, when I smite the land of Egypt.”

 Exo 30:12

“When you take the census of the people of Israel, then each shall give a ransom for himself to the LORD when you number them, that there be no plague among them when you number them.”

 Exo 32:35

“And the LORD sent a plague upon the people, because they made the calf which Aaron made.”

Lev 26:21

“Then if you walk contrary to me, and will not hearken to me, I will bring more plagues upon you, sevenfold as many as your sins.”

Lev 26:25

“And I will bring a sword upon you, that shall execute vengeance for the covenant; and if you gather within your cities I will send pestilence among you, and you shall be delivered into the hand of the enemy.”

Num 8:19

“And I have given the Levites as a gift to Aaron and his sons from among the people of Israel, to do the service for the people of Israel at the tent of meeting, and to make atonement for the people of Israel, that there may be no plague among the people of Israel in case the people of Israel should come near the sanctuary.”

Num 11:33

“While the meat was yet between their teeth, before it was consumed, the anger of the LORD was kindled against the people, and the LORD smote the people with a very great plague.”

Num 14:12

“I will strike them with the pestilence and disinherit them, and I will make of you a nation greater and mightier than they.”

 Num 14:37

“… the men who brought up an evil report of the land, died by plague before the LORD.”

 Num 16:46-50

“And Moses said to Aaron, ‘Take your censer, and put fire therein from off the altar, and lay incense on it, and carry it quickly to the congregation, and make atonement for them; for wrath has gone forth from the LORD, the plague has begun.’ So Aaron took it as Moses said, and ran into the midst of the assembly; and behold, the plague had already begun among the people; and he put on the incense, and made atonement for the people. And he stood between the dead and the living; and the plague was stopped.” Now those who died by the plague were fourteen thousand seven hundred, besides those who died in the affair of Korah. And Aaron returned to Moses at the entrance of the tent of meeting, when the plague was stopped.”

 Num 25:9

“Nevertheless those that died by the plague were twenty-four thousand.”

 Num 31:16

“Behold, these caused the people of Israel, by the counsel of Balaam, to act treacherously against the LORD in the matter of  Pe’or,  and so the plague came among the congregation of the LORD.”

 Deu 28:21

“The LORD will make the pestilence cleave to you until He has consumed you off the land which you are entering to take  possession of it.”

 Deu 32:24

“…they shall be wasted with hunger, and devoured with burning heat and poisonous pestilence; and I will send the teeth of  beasts against them, with venom of crawling things of the dust.”

 

In these Torah references we can see some of what the people did to anger God and to provoke his righteous punishment. Yet, when people are in denial about any cause for chastisement, as we see in the current times, they are naturally in denial that it is a chastisement which is being experienced.

Thus, in this opening post, we might consider what has angered God previously, what He has commanded us to do or not do, and to examine whether such offenses are being committed.  The above verses, and those to come in the next few posts, may well be a result of any one of three activities highly displeasing to Almighty God, and the guilt that rests upon His people and their shepherds being deserving of plague punishment:

Idolatry  – Pachamama idols in Vatican Churches, and embrace of climate change as a one world religion strategy

Abortion – Failure to have defended the most vulnerable; worldwide acceptance of abortion and population reduction

Corruption of the Shepherds – violation of celibacy promises, financial greed, betrayal of Chinese Underground Church.

The skeletal list is seriously incomplete, but may at least allay any belief that Church leadership has done ‘nothing’ to deserve such a plague. Most recently, in considering that God has quarantined His people from the sacraments, to great sadness and loss, one must at least raise the question if it isn’t actually the hierarchy being quarantined for the protection of the laity. More to come.

Father Z to the Bishops

April 29th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Action Item from Father Z to the bishops:

 

A prayer for a miracle: the sudden, complete and lasting obliteration of COVID-19.

Almighty and eternal God, who shaped us from the mud of the earth and breathed into us beautiful life and eternal souls made to give You glory, look graciously now upon Your poor creatures who have fallen into sin.  We now cry out for mercy, though we have deserved Your wrath and the rod of Your correction and trials.  Be appeased.  Lift from us this present affliction of disease and its fear as once You withdrew Your destroying Angel from scourging Jerusalem after smiting Israel with the sword of plague.  Look kindly on us, kneeling as if upon the threshing floor.  Look into our ashen and sackcloth laden hearts which we desire never again to be hardened against the promptings of Your Spirit, and forgive.  Forgive the offences so many of Your ungrateful images have committed against the Hearts of our Lord and His Mother.   Forgive the countless sacrilegious Communions of the last decades.  Forgive Your priests and bishops who in great numbers have abandoned their proper place between Your people and Your altars.  Some have committed unspeakable offences, not excluding even manifest idolatry.  Forgive all of us every neglect and unworthy deed and thought as well as any lingering attachment to sins.  Forgive all the sins that have cried to heaven.  Forgive and then give us graces for our fuller sorrow out of love for You, more than our dread of punishment, and also for our firm purpose of amendment.  Bold with confidence that the prayers of the converted sinner are precious to You, we now dare to ask You for a miracle.  By Your might, annihilate the COVID-19 virus and all its mutations and variations.  Restrain this disease, this consequence of sin, and make it to be harmless.  We ask that You do this, almighty and merciful God, suddenly, completely, and in a lasting way so that the peoples of the whole world will recognize Your almighty hand and fall upon their faces in wonder, faith and gratitude.  By this miracle, reveal Your love and kindness even though we do not merit the least of Your favors.  Even while we submit ourselves to Your will, we ask this, Eternal Father, through Our Lord Jesus Christ Your Son, who died for us on Calvary and rose again in glorious impassibility.  We ask this through the Holy Spirit the Consoler.   We implore this through the intercession of Saint Raphael, Your healing Archangel, as well as through ____.   In particular we, now humbled, entrust this audacious petition to the Blessed Virgin Mary, Health of the Sick.  Let her intercede for us as the Queen of Heaven whom Your Son will not refuse. “Not to us, O Lord, not to us; but to Thy name give glory.”  O God, loving and kind, we beg You to grant us this miracle.  Amen.

___

New Yorkers especially might ask for this miracle through the intercession of Venerable Fulton J. Sheen, who spent so much time there and who died in Manhattan and was interred in St. Patrick’s before his translation to Peoria.

Renewal of Consecration of the U.S. to the Blessed Virgin Mary

April 29th, 2020, Promulgated by Diane Harris

Renewal of Consecration of the United States to the Blessed Virgin Mary.

Friday, May 1, at 3 PM by Bishop Salvatore Matano

in union with the Bishops of the U.S.

Visit www.DoR.org to view half hour consecration service.