Monday, April 15, 2024

On Sloth


To My Readers: This post is from Mr. John Gregory, a fine writer and a long-time Traditionalist. John used to write for the Daily Catholic, when it was run by the late, great Mr. Michael Cain. John has generously volunteered to be a guest poster once every two months. Hence, he will write a post April, June, August, October, and December of this year. I am fortunate to have John join my monthly guest poster, Mr. Dominic Caggeso, who's next post will come out later in April. Please comment and let John know what you think of his writing. If you have any questions/comments specifically for me, I will answer as always, but it will take me longer to get back to you this week.

God bless you all, my dear readers---Introibo

By John Gregory

This child is set for the fall, and for the resurrection of many in Israel (Luke 2: 34) That God became man is a doctrine of our faith and those who reject or doubt this doctrine are in the category of those who will fall into Hell.  But just accepting the truth is not enough.  A few verses later we read--Who departed not from the temple, by fastings and prayers serving night and day (Luke 2: 37).  This is a warning against the vice of sloth which can also lead to Hell and an encouragement to be zealous for the faith and the conversion of others as I hope to prove in this post.

According to Aquinas sloth, in addition to being sorrow over a Divine good e.g. the duty to go to Mass on Sunday, is a sin when sorrow over evil is so oppressive that it draws a man entirely away from good deeds. (See SUMMA THEOLOGIAE: Sloth (Secunda Secundae Partis, Q. 35) ( Consider how evil abortion is and how rampant it is.  If one were so overwhelmed with grief over the issue that one gave up religion entirely because he can’t deal with that reality, he obviously would be guilty of a mortal sin and lose his soul.  But also consider one who frequently, despite his good intentions and best efforts, keeps committing the same sin again, finally gives up even trying to overcome it.  If it was a mortal sin he was trying to overcome the sin of sloth here would also be mortal.  But obviously we never want to give up our fight against committing deliberate venial sins as well.  If we give up our fight against venial sin, in addition to adding to our future punishments we would be increasing our likelihood of eventually falling into mortal sin.  When we become lax and unconcerned about venial sins, oftentimes mortal sin is not too far behind. 

Sloth is the seeking of undue rest from Divine good such a prayer; needlessly putting it off.  This can result in praying with negligence, hurriedly and without devotion which is also a result of sloth.  This can be true with going to Confession or a convert putting off Baptism.  All fallen men can be tempted to sin, “ah, I don’t feel like going to Mass today” then immediately put it out of their mind and jump out of bed to get ready for Mass.  The danger is consenting to that thought when it enters the mind.  The more you consider how nice it would be to skip Mass this week, the more likely it will be that you will entertain excuses why it could be legitimate to skip Mass this one time and actually miss it.  It can be likened to the danger of passing by the tree with forbidden fruit without thinking about it in comparison to stopping and taking a look at the fruit, just to see of course.  We saw where that got Eve and the rest of the human race.

Let us consider the Humility and Poverty of Christ. What can be more useful, what better calculated to subdue the pride and haughtiness of the human heart, than to reflect frequently that God humbles Himself in such a manner as to assume our frailty and weakness, in order to communicate to us His glory; that God becomes man, and that He at whose nod, to use the words of Scripture, the pillars of heaven tremble and are affrighted, (Job 26: 2) bows His supreme and infinite majesty to minister to man; that He whom the Angels adore in heaven is born on earth!  When such is the goodness of God towards us, what, I ask, should we not do to testify our obedience to His will?  With what willingness and alacrity (prompt, willing cheerfulness) should we not love, embrace, and perform all the duties of humility?

Let us now consider the antidote to sloth which is zeal. Our zeal in communicating Christian knowledge should not be relaxed because it has sometimes to be exercised in expounding matters apparently humble and unimportant, and whose exposition is usually irksome, especially to minds accustomed to the contemplation of the more sublime truths of religion.  If the Wisdom of the eternal Father descended upon the earth in the meanness of our flesh to teach us the maxims of a heavenly life, who is there whom the love of Christ does not constrain (2 Cor 5: 14) to become little in the midst of his brethren, and, as a nurse fostering her children, so anxiously to wish for the salvation of his neighbors as to be ready, as the Apostle says of himself, to give them not only the gospel of God, but even his own life. (1 Tim 4: 13).

We should be so warmly interested in promoting the worship and honor of God as to be said rather to be jealous of Him than to love Him, in imitation of Him who says of Himself: With zeal have I been zealous for the Lord God of hosts, (3 Kings 19: 14) or rather of Christ Himself, who says: The zeal of thy house hath eaten me up. (Ps 68: 10; John 2: 17)

Never shirk your duty to witness to the truth to anyone who asks about our faith or who has a question pertaining to religion.  We are strictly obliged to do so.  When it comes to sharing with people who do not ask, we need to have prudence.  For it is much easier, especially for those without much knowledge themselves, to do more harm than good when trying to convert souls.  This is why we should frequently study the faith and live it so that we will better be able to help others should the opportunity arise.  

It is better to help the people answer their own questions than to hammer them with the truth.  Telling someone over and over again that they will go to Hell if they do not convert has less of chance, generally speaking, of converting one that asking them if they believe Jesus founded one religion or many which contradict each other.  You just need to get them to think and search themselves, the answers are to be found by those of good will, willing to change their lives completely when convinced they must do so in order to be saved.

And as the observance of the precept is very strongly assisted by these words: Six days shalt thou labour, but on the seventh day is the sabbath of God, From these words it can be gathered that the faithful are to be exhorted not to spend their lives in indolence and sloth, but that each one, mindful of the words of the Apostle, should do his own business, and work with his own hands, as he had commanded them. (1 Thess 4: 2).

It is important to understand regarding this necessary duty, that whoever is unable to give may at least lend to the poor what they need to sustain life, according to the command of Christ our Lord: Lend, hoping for nothing thereby. (Luke 6: 35) The happiness of doing this is thus expressed by holy David: Acceptable is the man that showeth mercy and lendeth. (Ps. 111: 5).

But if we are not able to give to those who must depend on the charity of others for their sustenance, it is an act of Christian piety, as well as a means of avoiding idleness, to procure by our labor and industry what is necessary for the relief of the poor.  To this the Apostle exhorts all by his own example. For yourselves, he says to the Thessalonians, know how you ought to imitate us; (2 Thess 3: 7) and again, writing to the same people: Use your endeavour to be quiet, and that you do your own business, and work with your own hands, as we commanded you; (1 Thess 4: 2) and to the Ephesians: He that stole, let him steal no more; but rather let him labour working with his hands the thing which is good, that he may have something to give to him that sufferteh need. (Eph 4: 28).

If you are unable to give money, then give some of your time.  Pray devotedly for their temporal and spiritual needs.  Give them a green scapular.  

Let us imitate the fervor of the Saints in prayer; and to petition let us unite thanksgiving, imitating the example of the Apostles, who, as may be seen in the Epistles of Saint Paul, always observed this salutary practice.

To prayer let us unite fasting and almsdeeds.  Fasting is most intimately connected with prayer.  For the mind of one who is filled with food and drink is so borne down as not to be able to raise itself to the contemplation of God, or even to understand what prayer means.

Alms-deeds have also an intimate connection with prayer.  For what claim has he to the virtue of charity, who, possessing the means of affording relief to those who depend on the assistance of others, refuses help to his neighbor and brother?  How can he, whose heart is devoid of charity, demand assistance from God, unless, while imploring the pardon of his sins, he at the same time humbly beg of God to grant him the virtue of charity?

This triple remedy was, therefore, appointed by God to aid man in the attainment of salvation.  For by sin we offend God, wrong our neighbor, or injure ourselves.  The wrath of God we appease by pious prayer; our offences against man we redeem by alms-deeds; the stains of our own lives we wash away by fasting.  Each of these remedies, it is true, is applicable to every sort of sin; they are, however, peculiarly adapted to those three which we have specially mentioned.

We should also be careful to consider what is to be done, what avoided, in order to arrive at the kingdom of heaven.  For we are not called by God to lead lives of ease and indolence. On the contrary, He declares that the kingdom of God suffereth violence, and the violent bear it away; (Matt 11: 12) and, If thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments. (Matt 19: 17) It is not enough, therefore, that we pray for the kingdom of God; we must also use our best exertions.  It is a duty incumbent on us to cooperate with the grace of God to use it in pursuing the path that leads to heaven.  God never abandons us; He has promised to be with us at all times.  We have therefore only this to see to, that we forsake not God, or abandon ourselves.

Again we see that just believing or accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Saviour is not enough.  First of all, protestants accept an imaginary Jesus that did not found His Church on the rock or Saint Peter, taught the necessity of baptism for salvation to be possible and that believers can be damned for neglecting good works.  But this holds true for Catholics as well.  The violent bearing the kingdom of heaven away means that we must be hard-headed in a certain sense.  

That is, we must use violent effort by mortification and penance, and resisting our perverse inclinations.  There is no point during our lives that we have it made in the shade.  Where we can rest on our laurels and just coast into heaven.  Take a man floating on a raft in the ocean needing to get to shore.  If he just lays on the raft he will drift away and ultimately die.  Resist the temptation to the pride that says you have made it lest you drift away from sanctifying grace and ultimately die the eternal death.

Again, we see that just believing or accepting Jesus as our personal Lord and Savior is not enough.  First of all, Protestants accept an imaginary Jesus that did not found His Church on the rock or Saint Peter, taught the necessity of baptism for salvation to be possible and that believers can be damned for neglecting good works.  But this holds true for Catholics as well.  

The violent bearing the kingdom of heaven away means that we must be hard-headed in a certain sense.  That is, we must use violent effort by mortification and penance, and resisting our perverse inclinations.  There is no point during our lives that we have it made in the shade. Where we can rest on our laurels and just coast into Heaven. Take a man floating on a raft in the ocean needing to get to shore.  If he just lays on the raft he will drift away and ultimately die.  Resist the temptation to the pride that says you have made it lest you drift away from sanctifying grace and ultimately die the eternal death.

Adam’s posterity are not only deprived of the fruit of the tree of life, but also condemned to this dreadful sentence: Cursed is the earth in thy work; with labor and toil shalt thou eat thereof all the days of thy life: thorns and thistles shall it bring forth to thee, and thou shalt eat the herbs of the earth.  In the sweat of they face shalt thou eat bread, til thou return to the earth, out of which thou wast taken; for dust thou art, and into dust thou shalt return. (Gen 3: 17-19).

Our condition, therefor, is entirely different from what his and that of his posterity would have been, had Adam listened to the voice of God. All things have been thrown into disorder and have changed sadly for the worse.  Of the resultant evils, this is not the least, that the heaviest cost, and labor, and toil, are frequently expended in vain; either because the crops are unproductive, or because the fruits of the earth are smothered by noxious weeds that spring up about them, or perish when stricken and prostrated by heavy rains, storms, hail, blight or blast.  Thus is the entire labor of the year quickly reduced to nothing by some calamity of air or soil, inflicted in punishment of our crimes, which provoke the wrath of God and prevent Him from blessing our efforts. The dreadful sentence pronounced against us in the beginning remains. (Gen 3: 17).

We must understand therefore, that we fall into these perplexities and miseries through our own fault; while we must sweat and toil to procure the necessaries of life, unless God bless our labors, our hope must prove fallacious, and all our exertions unavailing.  For neither he that planteth is anything, nor he that watereth, but God who giveth the increase; (1 Cor 3: 7) unless the Lord build the house, they labor in vain that build it. (Ps 126: 1).

As it is in the physical realm, so it is in the spiritual realm.  We must work out our salvation in fear and trembling, not presume upon it.  All our good works will avail us not, if we die in the state of mortal sin.  We can work hard towards our salvation for our entire lives and lose it at the moment of death.  All seems well when things go right, and we are in the state of sanctifying grace but when something unexpected happens many of us easily fall and become a child of the devil and destined for eternal damnation once again.  That is why Jesus is recorded as saying twice that he who perseveres until the end will be saved.  Not he who accepted him in an emotional ceremony is already saved.  Not he who mechanically goes to confession once a month without truly amending his life will be saved. 

Keep in mind that the Almighty God, perfectly happy and fulfilled in Himself to the utmost degree did not become a zygote in the womb of His Immaculate Mother, confining Himself to this bag of bones of ours for 33 years, to be mocked, rejected, spat upon, scourged almost to death, crowned with thorns and crucified just so we could have a free ride to Heaven if only we just believe.  We must fight against sloth with the virtue of zeal, being proud of our faith and willing to defend it at any time.  We must shrug off our sluggishness in doing our spiritual duties and fulfilling our state in life by praying for help when we are feeling lazy.  

Let us appease the wrath of God against our sins that offend Him and can led to Hell with pious prayer, frequent Confession and worthy reception of the Eucharist.  Let us redeem our sins against our neighbor with alms-deeds, whether by money or work and always by praying for their salvation.  Let us wash off those yucky stains from venial sin which will prolong our Purgatory by fasting.  And then let us praise God for all eternity in the company of His Most Holy Mother and all the Angels and Saints! N.B. The Catechism of Trent was used and quoted from extensively in support of this post.---John Gregory

Monday, April 8, 2024

Vatican II And Universalism


To My Readers: Please see the special Addendum at the very end of this post---Introibo

The word "Catholic" comes from a Greek word meaning "universal" because the One True Church of Jesus Christ is meant to encompass all people, male and female, of all ethnicities, races, and geographical locations from Her foundation in 33 AD until Christ returns at the end of the world. All people need the One True Church to be saved. Recently, on a late-night Italian talk show, the Argentinian apostate, Jorge Bergoglio ("Pope" Francis) had this to say:

(Host) Fabio Fazio: It is hard to imagine Hell, a Father that condemns eternally…. It is hard to imagine.

Francis: Yes, it is hard to imagine. This is not a dogma of Faith, what I am going to tell you, it is a personal thing of mine, which pleases me: it pleases me to think that Hell is empty. It is a pleasure. I hope it is a reality. But it pleases me. (See 

This is a variation of the heresy of Universalism. This universalism is the opposite of "catholic"--it teaches that everyone (or almost everyone) can be saved, and belonging to the Church is unnecessary. This view of Bergoglio mirrors that of heretical Fr. Hans Urs Von Balthasar (d. 1988). Von Balthasar's 1987 book, Dare We Hope "That All Men Be Saved"? claimed there was no certainty that anyone is in Hell or ever will be in Hell. He stated that "the Church ... has never said anything about the damnation of any individual. Not even about that of Judas." Thus, he declared, every Christian has the "obligation" to hope that all men are saved, including Judas Iscariot, who betrayed Our Lord. 

This post will discuss Universalism in its various forms, and whether or not a Traditionalist Catholic can hope for an unpopulated Hell. I begin my discussion of the problem from the place where every evil in this age of Great Apostasy comes---Vatican II. 

Vatican II and Universalism

First, some definitions are in order. Today, one can distinguish six types of Universalism:

1. Apocatastasis. This teaching is defined by the 1913 Catholic Encyclopedia as, A name given in the history of theology to the doctrine which teaches that a time will come when all free creatures will share in the grace of salvation; in a special way, the devils and lost souls. Hell is not eternal, but will end when all damned humans and fallen angels (Satan and his demons) are "purified" and enter into Heaven. A necessary corollary is that the Church is irrelevant. 

2. Mitigated Apocatastasis. Teaches the same as above, except that Hell is eternal, but only for Satan and his demons. All human souls return to God. Some modern Protestants hold this view. Once more the Church is irrelevant. 

3. Absolute Universalism. Universalism teaches that the atonement of Christ and belonging to His One True Church is not necessary. All humanity will go to Heaven after death regardless of beliefs and regardless of anything Christ did, which was not necessary. There is no belief in Hell, Satan and demons. When most people speak of Universalism, this is the view to which they usually refer. 

4. "Christian" Universalism. This view holds that the atonement of Jesus is necessary, as is belief in Him as Savior. However, the Catholic Church is not necessary. Just a general acceptance of Christ as your personal Lord and Savior suffices. Many liberal Protestant sects adopt this view. There may or may not be a Hell for non-Christians (their souls will be annihilated at death if no Hell) and Satan/demons may or may not exist. Usually, any "profession of Christ" whatsoever suffices for salvation. 

5. "Anonymous Christian" Universalism. This form of universalism is taken from the heretical teachings of Fr. Karl Rahner (d. 1984) who was a peritus ("theological expert") at Vatican II. False sects and their false books/teachings, merely have "gaps, insufficiencies, and errors," and yet contain "elements of goodness and grace" from the "mystery of Christ" which will "nourish and direct" the existence of their followers. According to the concept of Anonymous Christianity, the "Mystery of Christ" is contained in varying degrees in non-Catholic religions. Therefore, salvation is also available in those other (false) religions. Everyone is "Christian" whether they know it or not; even if they explicitly reject Christianity. 

6. The Empty Hell. Hell is real and Satan with his demons are there. It is possible that human souls may be there, but it is possible no souls are lost.  

Although Universalism has been around for centuries, it gained popular acceptance in society after Vatican II. The new ecclesiology, which is at the heart of the false sect, comes from the Dogmatic Constitution on the Church, Lumen Gentium. In para. #8 of that damnable document, it states:

 This Church [of Christ] constituted and organized in the world as a society, subsists in the Catholic Church, which is governed by the successor of Peter and by the Bishops in communion with him, although many elements of sanctification and of truth are found outside of its visible structure. These elements, as gifts belonging to the Church of Christ, are forces impelling toward catholic (sic) unity. (Emphasis and words in parenthesis mine).

The Church of Christ is not identical to the Roman Catholic Church. It "subsists" there in its fullness because it contains all the "elements" of the Church of Christ. However, the Church of Christ "subsists" in other sects according to how many "elements" they possess. To have all the elements is best, but just having some is just as good and "impels toward catholic (sic) unity." Maybe they would like to explain why the Eastern Schismatics and Protestants have not been "impelled" to become Catholic? The answer is easy enough: They don't need to convert because they are "in partial communion" with the Church of Christ and can be saved outside the Catholic Church. This is pure heresy. 

It brought forth a false and equally heretical ecumenism, explained in Vatican II's Decree on Ecumenism Unitatis Redintegratio:

It follows that the separated Churches and Communities [false sects] as such, though we believe them to be deficient in some respects, have been by no means deprived of significance and importance in the mystery of salvation. For the Spirit of Christ has not refrained from using them as means of salvation which derive their efficacy from the very fullness of grace and truth entrusted to the Church. (para. #3; Emphasis mine). 

The ecumenism is manifest in every part of the sect. The Novus Bogus "Mass" is a good example of the false ecclesiology engendering ecumenism in action. To give but a few examples:

  • It resembles the Protestant "Lord's Supper" with singing and hand-holding around a table
  • The role of the "priest" is more or less that of a Protestant minister. "Homilies" and self-help talks is mostly all they do
  • Belief in the Real Presence (which they no longer have anyway) is virtually obliterated by people standing for "communion" and putting it in their hand, while being dressed immodestly or like a slob
  • The "priesthood of all believers" is seen by laymen and laywomen handing out "communion;" the laity reads the "lectionary;" and married "deacons" are doing almost everything the so-called priest does
The Vatican II sect is also ecumenical in what they omit in their teachings and "homilies." You will never hear:
  • There is no salvation Outside the One True Church
  • Islam is Satanic in origin
  • Catholicism should be the State religion
  • Error has no rights

 The Vatican II Constitution on the Church in the Modern World, Gaudium et Spes, in keeping with the false and heretical ecclesiology of Lumen Gentium, teaches the salvation of all humanity. One of the key tenets of this document, Universalism was beloved by Wojtyla ("Pope" "St" John Paul II) who incorporated it in his encyclicals and the heretical 1992 Catechism of the Catholic (sic) Church

In Gaudium et Spes, para. #22 we read, For by His incarnation the Son of God has united Himself in some fashion with every man. By His Incarnation, Christ took on a human nature; True God and True Man. There is no Church teaching that somehow Christ "has united Himself in some fashion with each man." That is a theological novelty of Vatican II. This teaching is heretical as can be clearly seen from the "magisterial" explanation of Wojtyla:

Redemptor Hominis (1979), para. #13: Christ the Lord indicated this way especially, when, as the Council teaches, "by his Incarnation, he, the Son of God, in a certain way united himself with each man"(Emphasis in original). Continuing in the same encyclical, Wojtyla writes, Accordingly, what is in question here is man in all his truth, in his full magnitude. We are not dealing with the "abstract" man, but the real, "concrete", "historical" man. We are dealing with "each" man, for each one is included in the mystery of the Redemption and with each one Christ has united himself forever through this mystery. (Emphasis mine).

Query: If Christ has united Himself forever to each person simply by virtue of the Incarnation, how is it possible for someone to be damned? Answer: No one can ever be damned because Hell involves eternal separation from God, which is incompatible with the teaching of Gaudium et Spes and Wojtyla--- that all humans are united forever with Christ and thus all must be saved. It is Catholic truth that no one is saved unless they are within the One True Church of Christ and die in the state of sanctifying grace.

Proof:  Pope Eugene IV, Council of Florence, Cantate Domino, 1441, ex cathedra: The Holy Roman Church firmly believes, professes and preaches that all those who are outside the Catholic Church, not only pagans but also Jews or heretics and schismatics, cannot share in eternal life and will go into the everlasting fire which was prepared for the devil and his angels, unless they are joined to the Church before the end of their lives...

Pope Pius IX, The Syllabus of Errors (1864), CONDEMNED Proposition #17:

Good hope at least is to be entertained of the eternal salvation of all those who are not at all in the true Church of Christ.

Was Judas Damned, and is Hell Really Empty?

For the most part, we do not know the fate of the departed. Other than canonized saints, we can't say for certain that any particular individual is in Heaven, without a special revelation from God. That's why we pray for the dead; if they are in Purgatory, we can help them with our prayers. Conversely, we know--from Scripture and Sacred Tradition---that there are souls in Hell. It is not empty, as Von Balthasar and Bergoglio would have it. We do not know for certain if any particular soul is damned (without a special revelation from God) --except for one, Judas Iscariot


The fourfold condemnation of Judas in Sacred Scripture.

Our Lord Jesus Christ: "The Son of Man will go just as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would have been better for that man if he had not been born." (St. Mark 14:6; Emphasis mine). 

Our Lord Jesus Christ:  "While I was with them, I kept them in thy name. Those whom thou gavest me have I kept; and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition, that the scripture may be fulfilled." (St. John 17:12; Emphasis mine). 

Psalm 108: 2-8: "O God, be not thou silent in my praise: for the mouth of the wicked and the mouth of the deceitful man is opened against me. They have spoken against me with deceitful tongues; and they have compassed me about with words of hatred; and have fought against me without cause. Instead of making me a return of love, they detracted me: but I gave myself to prayer.  And they repaid me evil for good: and hatred for my love. Set thou the sinner over him: and may the devil stand at his right hand. When he is judged, may he go out condemned; and may his prayer be turned to sin. May his days be few: and his bishopric let another take." (Emphasis mine). 

St. Augustine shows in Homilies on the Gospel of John, that St. John 17:12 together with Psalm 108 (109 in some Bibles) tells of the damnation of Judas Iscariot. 

7. The Son therefore goes on to say: “Those that Thou gavest me, I have kept, and none of them is lost, but the son of perdition; that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” The betrayer of Christ was called the son of perdition, as foreordained to perdition, according to the Scripture, where it is specially prophesied of him in the 109th Psalm. (See; Emphasis mine). 

St. Peter, the first pope in Acts 1:20: "For it is written in the book of Psalms: Let their habitation become desolate, and let there be none to dwell therein. And his bishopric let another take."(Emphasis mine). Here, St. Peter applies Psalm 108 to Judas in calling for the election of someone to take the traitor's place (St. Matthias). By applying Psalm 108:8 to Judas, St. Peter also pointed to Judas's damnation, because Psalm 108:6-7 says of the very same person mentioned there: "Set thou the sinner over him: and may the devil stand at his right hand. When he is judged, may he go out condemned and may his prayer be turned to sin." Verse 7, "May his prayer be turned to sin," foretells Judas's final impenitence causing eternal damnation. 

Therefore, the teaching of Sacred Scripture in St. Mark 14:6, St. John 17:12, Psalm 108, and Acts 1:20, make it clear that Judas is in Hell. 

Theologians teach Judas is in Hell

 St. Thomas Aquinas (Doctor of the Church) in De Veritate:

Now, in the case of Judas, the abuse of grace was the reason for his reprobation[damnation],since he was made reprobate because he died without grace.

St. Ambrose (Church Father) declared that Judas suffered eternal punishment because he died without being forgiven.  In Concerning Repentance he wrote: For I suppose that even Judas might through the exceeding mercy of God not have been shut out from forgiveness, if he had expressed his sorrow not before the Jews but before Christ.

St. Augustine (Church Father) in The City of God, Bk. I, ch. 17:

For Judas, when he killed himself, killed a wicked man, and passed from this life chargeable not only with the death of Christ, but also with his own: for though he killed himself on account of his crime, his killing himself was another crime. (Emphasis mine). 

The Sacred Liturgy teaches the damnation of Judas

The Collect for Maundy Thursday:

O God, from whom Judas received the punishment of his guilt, and the thief the reward of his confession: grant unto us the full fruit of Thy clemency; that even as in His Passion our Lord Jesus Christ gave to each retribution according to his merits, so having cleared away our former guilt, he may bestow on us the grace of His resurrection: Who with Thee liveth and reigneth (Emphasis mine).

The Church is infallible in Her universal disciplinary laws. According to theologian Van Noort, The Church's infallibility extends to the general discipline of the Church...By the term "general discipline of the Church" are meant those ecclesiastical laws passed for the direction of Christian worship and Christian living. (See Dogmatic Theology, 2: 114-115; Emphasis mine).

It is infallibly certain Judas is in Hell. 

The Catechism of the Council of Trent teaches Judas is in Hell

It is such as these that our Savior describes as hirelings, who, in the words of Ezechiel, feed themselves and not the sheep, and whose baseness and dishonesty have not only brought great disgrace on the ecclesiastical state, so much so that hardly anything is now more vile and contemptible in the eyes of the faithful, but also end in this, that they derive no other fruit from their priesthood than was derived by Judas from the Apostleship, which only brought him everlasting destruction. (Emphasis mine). 

The idea of an "empty Hell" is thereby refuted. There is one person known to us who is there for eternity. The theory of Von Balthasar (and the "thing" that "pleases" Bergoglio) is not based on the teaching of Scripture, Sacred Tradition, the teachings of the approved theologians, the liturgy, or the pre-Vatican II catechisms. Some "Empty Hell" proponents might balk, "OK, but we can hope that Judas is the ONLY human soul in Hell." Is that proposition tenable? In a word: NO.

Universalism Stands Condemned

His Holiness Pope Pius II, in his decree Cum Sicut, of November 14, 1459 CONDEMNED the following proposition of Zanini de Solcia:

That all Christians are to be saved.

It is therefore true that some Christians will be damned, not merely Judas Iscariot. The objection will be heard that "God wills all to be saved." This is true, but it is not incompatible with souls going to Hell. God willed Judas to be saved as long as Judas cooperated with His grace by his own free will. 

God will not save anyone against their free will. All the pre-Vatican II theologians agree that God sincerely desires the salvation of all people and does not positively predestine anyone to Hell. Anyone who is damned stands condemned by the misuse of their free will. The decision of Christ at the Last Judgement manifestly supposes that the reprobate are to be condemned only because of their evil works, not because of the arbitrary Will of God or because of Original Sin. For thus will Christ address the damned, "Depart from Me, you cursed, into everlasting fire...for I was hungry and you gave me not to eat...(St. Matthew 25). God's salvific will is seen in 1 Timothy 2: 3-4, "For this is good and acceptable in the sight of God our Savior, Who will have all men to be saved, and to come to the knowledge of the truth." 

Are More People Saved or Damned?
This is a question unresolved by the Church. Only God knows the number of the elect. Will more people be damned or saved? The more common teaching is that when the human race is taken as a whole, there will be more damned than saved. "Many are called but few are chosen." (St. Matthew 22: 14). However, there are theologians who reject this claim based on the salvific Will of God, and Christ's universal act of Redemption. They claim it is repugnant to think the Kingdom of Satan will be more populous, and thereby larger, than the Kingdom of God. 

 In the matter of True Catholics alone, the great theologian Suarez teaches (with the majority of theologians) that more will be saved than damned because of the sanctity of Holy Mother Church, the salvific Will of God, and the parable of the wedding banquet, at which only one person was found without a garment (i.e., sanctifying grace). 

As to True Catholics combined with schismatics and heretics, the majority of theologians declare more will be damned than saved because of the deprivation (in regards to the schismatics and heretics) of the efficacy of the Holy Sacrifice and the sacraments which are only efficacious unto salvation within the Church. However, a significant minority hold that more will be saved than damned in this scenario.     

What of infidels who never heard the Gospel? (By the term infidel it is to be understood all the unbaptized; principally Jews, Mohammedans, and pagans). In 1690, Pope Alexander VIII condemned the propositions that Christ died for the faithful only and pagans, Jews and heretics receive no grace from Him. If they cooperate with grace they can receive the great grace of Baptism of Desire (BOD) and be saved within the One True Church. However, this is a rare miracle of God. It would make the Great Commission a farce, if they need not convert because of miraculous intervention. 
(This section was condensed from theologians Tanquerey, Dogmatic Theology Vol. 1; Pohle, Dogmatic Theology, Vol. 7; Ott, Fundamentals of Catholic Dogma; and Parente, Dictionary of Dogmatic Theology---Introibo)

A Possible Solution
This section is a theory I hold. No one need believe it at all. I submit to the Judgement of Holy Mother Church if/when there is once more a true pope---Introibo
What are we to make of the billions who did not have the opportunity to believe through no fault of their own? A possible solution is God wants as many people as possible to be saved and he wants as few as possible to be lost. So what God has done is to create a world having an optimal balance between saved and lost. A world that involves the maximum number of saved for the minimum number of lost people. He gives sufficient grace for salvation to everyone whom He creates. Everyone can be saved if they want to be saved. 

Perhaps God has so ordered the world that those who never hear about Christ and the Church and are lost are only people who would not have believed in Him even if they had heard about it. In other words, anyone who would have believed and entered the Church to be saved if he heard it, is born at a time and place in history where he does hear it. 

 The logical objection would be, "So isn't it more merciful not to create such a person in the first place if God knows they freely choose damnation?" To this it can be replied that if you change one thing in this world, it will have repercussions on everything else. Who knows how the absence of those people would affect the salvation of others? Remember too, people are only lost through their own fault.


Universalism, in all its forms, is heretical. Satan wants you to think Hell isn't real, or that no one goes there, so you will have no need to "work out thy salvation in fear and trembling" (See Philippians 2:12-13).  Hell is well-populated, even if there should prove to be more saved than damned. (I will not include private revelations to prove or disprove the number of the saved/damned, as no one is required to believe private revelations--even those approved by the Church). 

We must remain ever vigilant to be saved during this time of Great Apostasy. No one can be certain of having the greatest grace; Final Perseverance. To die in the state of sanctifying grace is to achieve Heaven. We cannot earn it, but the theologians teach that God will not turn away someone who prays for it unceasingly. Even that, however, does not guarantee it; no one can be certain if they are among the saved except by special revelation from Almighty God. 

However, do not despair. There are signs that salvation is probable, and gives rise to great hope. As noted by theologian Tanquerey, most theologians teach there are eight (8) signs a soul is probably among the saved:

  1. a conscience that fears danger
  2. contempt for the things of the world
  3. patience in adversity
  4. zeal for the salvation of souls
  5. constant practice of the Eight Beatitudes
  6. devotion to the Most Sacred Heart of Jesus
  7. devotion to the Most Blessed Virgin Mary (and her Rosary)
  8. frequent and fervent Holy Communion
(See Dogmatic Theology, [1959], 1:308).

Get busy doing these things always! 

If "Hell is empty," it must be in the Shakespearean sense that "all the devils are here" on Earth, and they are busy helping Bergoglio and his sect which does the dirty work of their infernal master. 
Special Addendum
My Dear Readers:
Mr. Dominic Caggeso, my monthly guest poster, has just finished a book three-years in the making. It is entitled DIVINE POETRY, with a foreword written by Traditionalist priest, Fr. Stephen McKenna. It is available for  purchase at, and at Dominic's own website: If you order from his website, you will get a free color timeline & summary brochure, not included on Amazon or elsewhere. 

Mr. Caggeso's book is based on the premise that "All the major events of Catholic Church history are prefigured by the major events of the Old Testament, including the Second Vatican Council. For example, in the books of the Machabees, the Temple was stripped of its ornaments, women “thrust” themselves into the sanctuary, a second altar was erected over the original altar, traditional Jewish practices were outlawed and modern Greek religious practices were mandated and so much more!" (The author's own words). 

I join Novus Ordo Watch (NOW) in endorsing the book Divine Poetry by Dominic Caggeso. Please be advised that I make this endorsement based on its merits. Dominic Caggeso has not made writing guest posts contingent upon advertising his work. Moreover,  I have not received any compensation for promoting/endorsing this book. I have never made a single cent from the use of my blog, and that has not changed. This blog is a work of charity for me. My endorsement is done of my own free will, without any remuneration of any kind, and with no benefits to myself. That having been said, buy the book and enjoy the striking similarities between the history of the Old Testament and the Catholic Church!

God bless you all, my dear readers---Introibo

Monday, April 1, 2024

Contending For The Faith---Part 26


In St. Jude 1:3, we read, "Dearly beloved, taking all care to write unto you concerning your common salvation, I was under a necessity to write unto you: to beseech you to contend earnestly for the faith once delivered to the saints." [Emphasis mine]. Contending For The Faith is a series of posts dedicated to apologetics (i.e.,  the intellectual defense of the truth of the Traditional Catholic Faith) to be published the first Monday of each month.  This is the next installment.

Sadly, in this time of Great Apostasy, the faith is under attack like never before, and many Traditionalists don't know their faith well enough to defend it. Remember the words of our first pope, "But in your hearts revere Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect..." (1Peter 3:16). There are five (5) categories of attacks that will be dealt with in these posts. Attacks against:
  • The existence and attributes of God
  • The truth of the One True Church established by Christ for the salvation of all 
  • The truth of a particular dogma or doctrine of the Church
  • The truth of Catholic moral teaching
  • The truth of the sedevacantist position as the only Catholic solution to what has happened since Vatican II 
In addition, controversial topics touching on the Faith will sometimes be featured, so that the problem and possible solutions may be better understood. If anyone had suggestions for topics that would fall into any of these categories, you may post them in the comments. I cannot guarantee a post on each one, but each will be carefully considered.

Who Created God?

Everyone who believes in the Christian concept of God, has no doubt heard, at one time or another, "If God created the universe, then who created God?" Inquisitive children, as well as adult skeptics and atheists, will ask this question. Children ask in innocence, and atheists ask in an attempt to confound Christians. After all, if everything needs an explanation of its existence, wouldn't it be the fallacy of special pleading to exempt God from that rule? Hence, if God needs an explanation of His existence, there is something greater than God, and the entire concept of God collapses. You have an infinite regress of causation, with nothing that is ultimate. 

This post will explain how to answer that question when confronted by enemies of the Faith. Besides the citations herein, I give credit to the numerous philosophers and theologians I have read both online and in books. I give all these intellectual giants full credit and attribution for the content of this post.---Introibo 

God: The Uncaused Cause

Noted Cambridge physicist Stephen Hawking (d. 2018), in his book A Brief History of Time, asks questions about what started the universe and what makes the universe continue to exist. What theory exists to unify everything? “Or does it need a creator, and, if so, does he have any other effect on the universe? And who created him?” (See A Brief History of Time, [1988], pg. 174). When we examine the concept of God and the history of the universe, we begin to see that these questions are less difficult to answer than we had perhaps imagined—most obviously because they are ill conceived.

The Big Bang Theory (proposed by Roman Catholic priest Fr. Georges Lemaitre) states that the universe—physical time, space, matter, and energy—came into existence cataclysmically roughly13.8 billion years ago. This discovery is based on observations such as the expanding universe and the tendency of energy to spread out or dissipate; the fact that the universe is “winding down” (based on the second law of thermodynamics) implies that the universe will eventually die a “heat death” and thus meet its demise. Such discoveries have remarkably confirmed the Church doctrine of creation ex nihil ("out of nothing"): “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth” (Genesis 1:1).

Even atheistic scientists acknowledge this scenario. According to the astrophysicists John Barrow and Joseph Silk, “Our new picture is more akin to the traditional metaphysical picture of creation out of nothing, for it predicts a definite beginning to events in time, indeed a definite beginning to time itself.”(See John D. Barrow and Joseph Silk, The Left Hand of Creation, 2d ed. [1993], pg. 38). In fact, Nobel Prize–winning physicist Stephen Weinberg once remarked that the now rejected “Steady State Theory (which views the universe as eternally existent) is philosophically the most attractive theory because it least resembles the account given in Genesis.” (See John D. Barrow, The World within the World [1988], pg. 226; Emphasis mine).

Unfortunately for atheists, the universe did begin, much to Weinberg’s dismay, and the physical state prior to the big bang was literally nothing. By “prior” I don’t mean that there were moments of time before the Big Bang. (By “time” I mean that which is constituted by the succession of events or happenings. If there were no events, there would be no time.) Rather, I refer to the priority of being (“metaphysical priority”): One state of being (God’s timeless existence) serves as the ground for another (temporal, contingent existence). Or we could just speak of God with or without the universe.

Some people would claim that the universe came into existence uncaused out of nothing. One atheist, Michael Martin, says that “this beginning [of the universe] may be uncaused” and that such theories are in fact “being taken seriously by scientists.” (See Michael Martin, Atheism: A Philosophical Justification [1990], pg. 106). However, something cannot come into existence uncaused out of nothing since being cannot come from nonbeing. This is a basic truth about reality itself (i.e., metaphysics); it isn’t, as Martin believes, some culture-bound conviction that will be overturned in some future scientific revolution (comparable to what Newton or Einstein introduced).

Think about it: How can something be produced when absolutely no potentiality exists for its emergence? (By “nothing,” I do not mean subatomic particles or other unobservable entities.) The chances of something coming from absolute nothingness are zero, since there is not even the potentiality for a universe to come into existence. It seems that such claims about something-from-nothing may be rooted in an underlying attempt to avoid the implications of God’s existence. That is, the principle “from nothing, nothing comes” (ex nihilo, nihil fit) would likely be universally assumed by skeptics were it not for the fact that the universe’s beginning greatly resembles the account in Genesis 1:1.

The atheist philosopher Kai Nielsen acknowledges how misplaced is the notion of something coming from nothing: “Suppose you hear a loud bang . . . and you ask me, ‘What made that bang?’ and I reply, ‘Nothing, it just happened.’ You would not accept that. In fact you would find my reply quite unintelligible.” (See Kai Nielsen, Reason and Practice, [1971], pg. 48). 

Answering the Atheists and Skeptics

Against the background information above, one can now attack the question of "So who created God?" in four points:

1. The theist does not claim that whatever exists must have a cause, but whatever begins to exist must have a cause. No right-thinking theist argues that everything must have a cause; if this were the case, ONLY THEN God would need a cause too! Rather, we begin with the fundamental principle about reality that anything that begins to exist has a cause. The universe clearly began and therefore has a cause. On the other hand, the eternal and self-existent God by definition does not need a cause; he is uncaused. When talking to a skeptic, you might be told, “Everything—even the cause of the universe—must itself have a cause.” But the skeptic is making a questionable assumption, one that has no room for a being like God. This is question-begging or assuming what one wants to prove. It’s like saying, “All reality is physical; therefore God can’t exist.” Clearly, all reality is not physical. For example, laws of logic or moral truths (e.g., “torturing babies for fun is wrong”) are not physical but are still obviously real.

2. Start with a non-question-begging beginning point in your discussion, and "everything that begins to exist has a cause" does just that. Thinkers in the past such as Plato and Aristotle assumed that the universe was eternal and needed no caused explanation for its origin. Two hundred years ago atheists assumed the universe’s eternality and that it needed no cause or explanation. If the universe can hypothetically be self-explanatory, then why can’t the same be true for God? However, no one could reasonably accept that something could pop into existence uncaused, out of nothing. Now that contemporary science has revealed that the universe began, many non-theists are squirming at the possible theistic implications of this fact. What I’m saying is that our principle does not rule out the possibility of something being self-existent—whether God or the universe. Ask those who persist in arguing that the universe came from literally nothing, “Why should this be any more likely than its having come from God?” Something coming into existence from nothing is absurd and without any logical, scientific or metaphysical justification.

3. Fourth, certain realities—such as logical laws or mathematical truths—are clearly uncaused, as they are eternal and necessary; therefore, it cannot be true that everything must have a cause. Even if the world did not exist, would the statement 2+2=4 still be true? Of course! Would the law of non-contradiction (A cannot equal non-A) still be true? Yes. Such truths are real (even though they are not physical), but there is no good reason to think that they have been caused. If this is true, why couldn’t we say the same about God himself? The point, again, is that not everything must have a cause.

4. The question “Who made God?” commits the “category fallacy.” It is another form of begging the question. In other words, it eliminates from the outset any possibility of God being the explanatory cause of the universe. How so? The question assumes that everything must be a contingent (dependent) entity and that there can be no such thing as a self-existent and uncaused entity like God. However, God is in a different category than caused entities; to put them in the same category is unfair. It’s like asking, “How does the color green taste?” or, “What flavor is middle C?” God, by definition, is an uncaused, necessary (non-contingent) being. God must not be blamed for not being finite and contingent! If we reframe the question “Who made God?” to clarify our categories, we will find that the question answers itself. Let’s rephrase the question in this way: “What caused the self-existent, uncaused Cause, who is by definition unmakeable, to exist?” Any further questions?


When terms and concepts are clarified, it becomes clear that "Who made God?" is a nonsensical question. Remember the Kalam Cosmological Argument:

  • Whatever begins to exist must have a cause
  • The universe began to exist (Big Bang Theory)
  • Therefore, the universe has a Cause
Since all matter, as well as space and time itself, came into being at the moment of the Big Bang, the Cause must be immaterial, space-less, timeless, and of infinite power. Moreover, the Cause must be a personal agent, for if all the necessary and sufficient conditions for creation always existed, the universe would be eternal. Science has proven what theology always knew; the universe began to exist.  Therefore, the cause must have willed the universe into existence, something only a Personal Agent can do. God, unlike the universe, has no beginning, and therefore needs no explanation or cause of His Existence. 

Monday, March 25, 2024

The Four Temperaments---Melancholic (Part I)

To My Readers: I have received several requests for posts on the subject of The Four Temperaments. This week's post is the second installment to this most important and interesting topic. I will follow-up with other posts so that by the end of 2024, I will have done some justice to presenting the Four Temperaments. 

I want to acknowledge that I take no credit for the posts on this topic. My primary sources will be from theologian Schagemann and his work entitled Manual of Self-Knowledge and Christian Perfection (1913).  Also, the work of theologian Hock The Four Temperaments (1934) will be used throughout this series of posts, with various other sources. I take absolutely no credit whatsoever for the content of this post (or the ones on this topic to follow). All I did was condense the material of these theologians into a terse post that hopefully will be advantageous for  those looking for information, but without time to read an entire book or two from the pre-Vatican II era on the subject. 

God bless you all, my dear readers---Introibo

The Melancholic Temperament--Part I

If there is a temperament with very unfortunate characteristics, it is certainly the melancholic. Externally this temperament manifests but slight receptibility. Apparently the melancholic seems to remain unmoved. He manifests no emotion. He appears to be very indifferent to the external world, to everything that goes on around him. But, in his imagination he construes an interior world, the ideals of which cannot be realized. He is both slow and obstinate. This obstinancy causes him to be very tenacious of his own opinions. He is never contented. Being a severe censor of morals, he fails to discover anything good in others. 

Naturally, he is uncongenial. In consequence of this, he exhibits great and constant irritability. It is, therefore, not surprising that he is inclined to be suspicious of others. He is apt to offend others by imagining they have something against him, or are dissatisfied with him, or, perhaps, are opposed to him. He is convinced that he is misjudged. This causes him to be distant and possibly offensive in his intercourse. His fondness for solitude inclines him to singularity. In consequence, he is reserved and wholly engrossed in himself. 

When offended or in case he imagines an affront has been offered him, he becomes vindictive. He nourishes hatred and aversion. He desires to revenge himself. At the same time he is capable of bestowing the most ardent friendship on some, individually, to the complete exclusion of all others. He may become a prey to vehement passions. But these he will conceal in his interior. He may secretly indulge in vice. He possesses an unreasonable self-conceit. He fosters within himself an over-estimation of superiority. This readily leads him to despise others.

The characteristic trait of this temperament is a moderate sadness. It is tranquil in action. It is profound in all undertakings. It possesses weight and maturity in judgment. Father Schram and theologians in general admit that every truly great, wise, and prudent man has evinced traits of this temperament. Nay, in advancing years those may attain these characteristics who, in youth were endowed with a choleric temperament. Such persons are well suited to become good advisers, prudent leaders and men of learning. If such become devoted to the spiritual life they are apt to excel and become masters, owing to their prudence and discretion.

The melancholic loves the sublime and terrific. He delights in the supernatural. He loves contemplation. Thus the pursuit and practise of virtue is for him an agreeable task. He will earnestly strive after solid virtue. His ardent mind is easily convinced that God is the only and true Good. He therefore yields himself to the service of God with all the ardor of which this temperament is capable. The direction of this temperament must, above all, be considerate and circumspect.

Characteristics of the Melancholic Temperament

The melancholic person is but feebly excited by whatever acts upon him. The reaction is weak, but this feeble impression remains for a long time and by subsequent similar impressions grows stronger and at last excites the mind so vehemently that it is difficult to eradicate it.

Such impression may be compared to a post, which by repeated strokes is driven deeper and deeper into the ground, so that at last it is hardly possible to pull it out again. This propensity of the melancholic needs special attention. It serves as a key to solve the many riddles in his behavior.

Fundamental Disposition of the Melancholic

1. Inclination to reflection. The thinking of the melancholic easily turns into reflection. The thoughts of the melancholic are far-reaching. He dwells with pleasure upon the past and is preoccupied by occurrences of the long ago; he is penetrating; is not satisfied with the superficial, searches for the cause and correlation of things; seeks the laws which affect human life, the principles according to which man should act. His thoughts are of a wide range; he looks ahead into the future; ascends to the eternal. The melancholic is of an extremely soft-hearted disposition.

His very thoughts arouse his own sympathy and are accompanied by a mysterious longing. Often they stir him up profoundly, particularly religious reflections or plans which he cherishes; yet he hardly permits his fierce excitement to be noticed outwardly. The untrained melancholic is easily given to brooding and to day-dreaming.

2. Love of retirement. The melancholic does not feel at home among a crowd for any length of time; he loves silence and solitude. Being inclined to introspection he secludes himself from the crowds, forgets his environment, and makes poor use of his senses -eyes, ears, etc. In company he is often distracted, because he is absorbed by his own thoughts. By reason of his lack of observation and his dreaming the melancholic person has many a mishap in his daily life and at his work.

3. Serious conception of life. The melancholic looks at life always from the serious side. At the core of his heart there is always a certain sadness, "a weeping of the heart," not because the melancholic is sick or morbid, as many claim, but because he is penneated with a strong longing for an ultimate good (God) and eternity and feels continually hampered by earthly and temporal affairs and impeded in his carvings. The melancholic is a stranger here below and feels homesick for God and eternity.

4. Inclination to passivity. The melancholic is a passive temperament. The person possessing such a temperament, therefore, has not the vivacious, quick, progressive, active propensity of the choleric or sanguine, but is slow, pensive, reflective. It is difficult to move him to quick action, since he has a marked inclination to passivity and inactivity. This pensive propensity of the melancholic accounts for his fear of suffering and difficulties as well as for his dread of interior exertion and self-denial.

Peculiarities of the Melancholic

1. He is reserved. He finds it difficult to form new acquaintances and speaks little among strangers. He reveals his inmost thoughts reluctantly and only to those whom he trusts. He does not easily find the right word to express and describe his sentiments. He yearns often to express himself, because it affords him real relief, to confide the sad, depressing thoughts which burden his heart to a person who sympathizes with him.

On the other hand, it requires great exertion on his part to manifest himself, and, when he does so, he goes about it so awkwardly that he does not feel satisfied and finds no rest. Such experiences tend to make the melancholic more reserved. A teacher of melancholic pupils, therefore, must be aware of these peculiarities and must take them into consideration; otherwise he will do a great deal of harm to his charges.

2. The melancholic is irresolute. On account of too many considerations and too much fear of difficulties and of the possibility that his plans or works may fail, the melancholic can hardly reach a decision. He is inclined to defer his decision. What he could do today he postpones for tomorrow, the day after tomorrow, or even for the next week. Then he forgets about it and thus it happens that what he could have done in an hour takes weeks and months. He is never finished.

For many a melancholic person it may take a long time to decide about his vocation to the religious life. The melancholic is a man of missed opportunities. While he sees that others have crossed the creek long ago, he still deliberates whether he too should and can jump over it. That's because the melancholic discovers many ways by his reflection and has difficulties in deciding which one to take, he easily gives way to others, and does not stubbornly insist on his own opinion.

3. The melancholic is despondent and without courage. He is pusillanimous and timid if he is called upon to begin a new work, to execute a disagreeable task, to venture on a new undertaking. He has a strong will coupled with talent and power, but no courage. It has become proverbial therefore: "Throw the melancholic into the water and he will learn to swim." If difficulties in his undertakings are encountered by the melancholic, even if they are only very insignificant, he feels discouraged and is tempted to give up the ship, instead of conquering the obstacle and repairing the ill success by increased effort.

4. The melancholic is slow and awkward. a) He is slow in his thinking. He feels it necessary, first of all, to consider and reconsider everything until he can form a calm and safe judgment. b) He is slow in his speech. If he is called upon to answer quickly or to speak without preparation, or if he fears that too much depends on his answer, he becomes restless and does not find the right word and consequently often makes a false and unsatisfactory reply.

This slow thinking may be the reason why the melancholic often stutters, leaves his sentences incomplete, uses wrong phrases, or searches for the right expression. He is also slow, not lazy, at his work. He works carefully and reliably, but only if he has ample time and is not pressed. He himself naturally does not believe that he is a slow worker.

 5. The pride of the melancholic bas its very peculiar side. He does not seek honor or recognition; on the contrary, he is loathe to appear in public and to be praised. But he is very much afraid of disgrace and humiliation. He often displays great reserve and thereby gives the impression of modesty and humility; in reality he retires only because he is afraid of being put to shame. He allows others to be preferred to him, even if they are less qualified and capable than himself for the particular work, position, or office, but at the same time he feels slighted because he is being ignored and his talents are not appreciated.

The melancholic person, if he really wishes to become perfect, must pay very close attention to these feelings of resentment and excessive sensitiveness in the face of even small humiliations. Also, the melancholic has few friends, because few understand him and because he takes few into his confidence.

Bright Side of the Melancholic Temperament

1. The melancholic practices with ease and joy interior prayer. His serious view of life, his love of solitude, and his inclination to reflection are a great help to him in acquiring the interior life of prayer. He has, as it were, a natural inclination inclination to piety. Meditating on the perishable things of this world he thinks of the eternal; sojourning on earth he is attracted to Heaven. Many saints were of a melancholic temperament. This temperament causes difficulties at prayer, since the melancholic person easily loses courage in trials and sufferings and consequently lacks confidence in God, in his prayers, and can be very much distracted by pusillanimous and sad thoughts. 

2. In communication with God the melancholic finds a deep and indescribable peace. He, better than anyone else, understands the words of St. Augustine: "You, O Lord, have created us for yourself, and our heart finds no rest, until it rests in You." His heart, so capable of strong affections and lofty sentiments, finds perfect peace in communion with God. This peace of heart he also feels in his sufferings, if he only preserves his confidence in God and his love for the Crucified. 

3. The melancholic is often a great benefactor to his fellow men. He guides others to God, is a good counselor in difficulties, and a prudent, trustworthy, and well meaning superior. He has great sympathy with his fellow men and a keen desire to help them. If the confidence in God supports the melancholic and encourages him to action, be is willing to make great sacrifices for his neighbor and is strong and unshakable in the battle for ideals. Schubert, in his Psychology, says of the melancholic nature: "It has been the prevailing mental disposition of the most sublime poets, artists, of the most profound thinkers, the greatest inventors, legislators, and especially of those spiritual giants who at their time made known to their nations the entrance to a higher and blissful world of the Divine! to which they themselves were carried by an insatiable longing."


This concludes the first part of understanding the melancholic temperament.  The next installment will discuss the "dark side" of the melancholic, and how those with such temperament should self-train for spiritual advancement. That post will conclude the first temperament under consideration. 

Monday, March 18, 2024

Can Mindfulness Be Catholic?


The Vatican II sect is pushing a new (and decidedly pagan/occult) practice; "Catholic Mindfulness." The dangers of this movement cannot be understated. Mindfulness, for those who may be unaware, is a pagan and occult practice that can open up the practitioner to demonic obsession/possession.  (Demonic obsession is demonic influence from outside of the obsessed person, as opposed to controlling the person's body in possession).

Those pushing this misnamed practice are not merely Vatican II sect clerics, but highly educated laymen who think mindfulness can be adapted to Catholicism. This post will show the inherent danger and occult nature of mindfulness, and how it cannot be "made Catholic." If you know anyone in the Vatican II sect who practices this alleged "Catholic Mindfulness," pass on this information to them, and hopefully they will stop. N.B. I have cultivated my information on mindfulness from many sources besides those explicitly mentioned. I give full attribution for the information to all those sources and take no credit except for condensing the information into a readable, terse post---Introibo

Mindfulness and Its Pagan Origin

Mindfulness is usually marketed, explicitly or implicitly, as the key to peace, happiness, and even  "Catholic" spiritual advancement. “Be present” or “Be in the moment” have become common unquestioned bits of folk wisdom. Online and print magazines almost never lack a blurb or an article having to do with being mindful. Insurance company materials promote mindfulness, pictures of it abound online, its on television programs, and whole companies exist based on it. As of January 2024 there are (literally) thousands of "mindfulness meditation" apps. 

According to one source:

Mindfulness is a word used to describe "the basic human ability to be fully present, aware of where we are and what we’re doing, and not overly reactive or overwhelmed by what’s going on around us."...

But the road to mindfulness is, evidently, paved with gold. According to the Wall Street Journal story, the industry exceeds the millions -- and that the combination of "studio classes, workshops, books, online courses and apps ... is worth about $1.2 billion and growing."


Traditionalists can no longer afford the luxury of being uninformed about mindfulness meditation. As a result of most people seeing meditation merely as a form of relaxation, it has masked its true nature and sparked the interest of researchers who would ordinarily avoid the occult. Clinical psychologist Dr. Gordon Boals, who has taught at Princeton and Rutgers universities, points out:

Viewing meditation as a relaxation technique has had a number of consequences. One result has been to make meditation seem more familiar and acceptable to the Western public so that subjects are willing to learn and practice it and researchers and psychotherapists are interested in experimenting with it. Another outcome is that therapists have been able to find a variety of ways of using it as a therapeutic technique. If meditation is relaxation, it should serve as an antidote to anxiety. (See “Toward a Cognitive Reconceptualization of Meditation,” The Journal of Transpersonal Psychology, vol. 10, no, 2, 1983, p. 146). 

Mindfulness is pagan, coming from Buddhism. Standard Buddhist texts claim that in our normal state of mind we misperceive and misun­derstand ourselves (our true nature) and our world (its true nature). The purpose of meditation is to correct these false perceptions and to replace them with a true perception of reality, which is mystically induced by the procedures involved. This is why all forms of mindfulness meditation involve the deliberate cultivation of altered states of consciousness. The "truth" according to Buddhism, is that there is no self, and the goal of the mindfulness is to "become One with the universe." 

Mindfulness, and other forms of Eastern meditation, teach you to observe your breath; this is done so that you eventually become conscious of the breath as something being done, not you doing it. You are to realize that observing the breath means that it is not you observing, but rather the “witness.” This “witness” is the Buddha nature/mind, which is the impersonal principle of existence and which is all that truly exists. Meditation is practiced to deconstruct the sense of one’s individual identity and self:

The state of awareness that we are practicing when we mediate is called the witnessing state or the witness. In a typical meditation practice, we sit still and focus our awareness on a single object, such as counting our breath or repeating a mantra. As soon as we become aware that our mind has wandered off in thought, we just notice that, and return our awareness to our focus object. When we do this, we are practicing being in witnessing awareness. In other words, we are practicing being the witnessing part of our mind watching the thinking part of our mind repeatedly get carried away in thought.

Remember we learned that “subject” is something I identify as me, and “object” is something I identify as not me. “Subject” is what’s on the inside of my face looking out, and “object” is everything on the outside of my face that my subjective self is looking at. In our average everyday waking state of consciousness, we experience our individual self – our body, thinking mind, and feelings – as subject. And we experience everyone and everything outside of our individual body and mind as objects.

When we meditate, we are practicing a shift in our awareness. We are practicing being the witness “watching” temporary thoughts come and go in our minds, and temporary feelings and sensations come and go in our bodies. In other words, we are temporarily making our entire individual self – our entire body and thinking mind – into an object in a larger witnessing awareness. When we do this, we are temporarily shifting our subjective sense of self – our identity – from our gross body and thinking mind to the Witness.

When we aren’t doing something like meditating – when we’re back in our everyday waking state of consciousness – it isn’t that the Witness is somehow gone. Witnessing awareness is always present, but since we identify only with the thinking part of our mind as our “self,” we don’t usually notice that the Witness is there, or experience it as our “self.”


The basic worldview of the East is pantheism, the belief that in some sense all of reality is ultimately One and Divine. In bringing their false religions to the West, many people adopt another (yet similar) worldview known as panentheism (the belief that God is "in" all things). Panentheism recognizes God and the world as distinct concepts, but then holds that God is the spirit or "divine energy" or "mind" that fills and pervades and expresses itself in the world. On this view God and the world are interdependent, needing each other to form a complete reality. Thus the standard analogy for panentheism is the idea that a human being is both a spirit (or mind) and a body, with neither doing anything without the other. God is not a personal Creator of the world, but the divine potential of the world and of each one of us. Most people in Western culture could not clearly distinguish pantheism from panentheism, and in most contexts the difference is of little practical significance. Pantheism and its related errors were infallibly condemned by the Vatican Council of 1870. 

The goal of the mindfulness practitioner is to unify himself/herself with the "Divine-self" or "God-Self." Through mindfulness, the person tries to lose contact with the conscious mind for an altered state of consciousness (ASC). This disassociation is meant to allow a person to become "one" with "the Divine." Even those who do not get to such altered states, have unwittingly opened themselves up to a decidedly pagan worldview and possible demon possession. The idea of being "divine" is the opposite of Christianity which tells us we are sinners in need of Redemption by the God-Man Jesus Christ.

So how did an obviously pagan practice, used also by occultists to make contact with "the spirit world" become accepted by mainstream occupations and organizations? That question will be answered next.

Making Mindfulness Mainstream

The re-packaging of mindfulness was accomplished primarily through the work of two men, Thich Nhat Hanh (d. 2022), a Buddhist monk, and his disciple, Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn (b. 1944).

1. Thich Nhat Hanh, according to his website:

...was a global spiritual leader, poet, and peace activist, revered throughout the world for his powerful teachings and bestselling writings on mindfulness and peace. His key teaching was that, through mindfulness, we can learn to live happily in the present moment—the only way to truly develop peace, both in one’s self and in the world. Thich Nhat Hanh published over 100 titles on meditation, mindfulness, and engaged Buddhism, as well as poems, children’s stories, and commentaries on ancient Buddhist texts. He sold over five million books in the United States alone...

Thich Nhat Hanh was a pioneer in bringing Buddhism to the West, founding eleven monasteries and dozens of practice centers in the United States, Asia, and Europe, as well as over 1,000 local mindfulness practice communities, known as ‘sanghas.’ He built a thriving community of over 600 monks and nuns worldwide, who, together with his tens of thousands of lay students, apply his teachings on mindfulness, peace-making, and community-building in schools, workplaces, businesses – and even prisons – throughout the world. (See; Emphasis mine). 

He flourished thanks to Vatican II's damnable doctrine on "religious liberty." He wasted no time propagating religious indifferentism. In his best-selling book, Living Buddha, Living Christ (1995), Thich Nhat Hanh pronounces that “when you believe, for example, that yours is the only way for humankind, millions of people might be killed because of that idea” (pp. 92-93). He also claims that if we believe that Christianity alone provides the way of salvation “this attitude excludes dialogue and fosters religious intolerance and discrimination.” (pg. 193).

He wrote, “I do not think there is that much difference between Christians and Buddhists. Most of the boundaries we have created between our two traditions are artificial. Truth has no boundaries” (pg. 154). Although Hanh does not offer a comprehensive theory concerning the unity of all religions, he attempts to show that Jesus’ and Buddha’s teachings agree and that “when you are a truly happy Christian, you are also a Buddhist. And vice versa” (pg. 197).  

In attempting to show the blasphemous "spiritual brotherhood" of Jesus and Buddha, Hanh explains that the Christian practice of Holy Communion is really an exercise in “mindfulness” (!) By this he means the Buddhist practice of reflecting on the interconnection of all things or what he calls “interbeing.” Everything is a part of something else, and nothing stands alone. So Hanh tells us that “the miracle happens…because we eat and drink in mindfulness….If we allow ourselves to touch our bread deeply, we become reborn, because our bread is life itself. Eating it deeply, we touch the sun, the clouds, the earth, and everything in the cosmos. We touch life, we touch the kingdom of God” (pgs. 30-31).

2.  Dr. Jon Kabat-Zinn was raised a non-practicing Jew. He became attracted to Buddhism and studied under Hahn, becoming a Buddhist himself. Kabat-Zinn's doctorate is in molecular biology. A practicing Buddhist  (sometimes he disavows he practices Buddhism) and board member of the Mind and Life Institute, an organization dedicated to “exploring the relationship of science and Buddhism as ways to better understand the nature of reality,” Kabat-Zinn always believed his "karmic assignment" (purpose in life) was to find a way to bring his dharma practice (Buddhist practice) together with his scientific pursuits to create "one unified whole."

While on a Buddhist retreat, he had a vision in which he “saw” a way to do this, through a program he would later call the Mindfulness Based Stress Reduction (MBSR) program. This program was designed to be a patient-centered approach which could be used in hospital settings to treat persons with PTSD and other stress/anxiety disorders. However, with the core of the program being intensive training in mindfulness meditation, he knew these Buddhist roots would make many people nervous and so he “bent over backward” to find ways to employ the program without revealing its Buddhist underpinnings. 

The answer was to make it all about "stress reduction" and throw in scientific verbiage. There has been a great effort on the part of "alternative treatment practitioners" to emphasize stress in the culture, which then allows them to advocate their particular remedies for it. Mindfulness therapy is now extensively used in psychology and psychotherapy. However, Christian prayer and meditation is a definite non-starter, even though going to Church has been shown in a recent study to lower blood pressure (See 

In an interview with the Los Angeles Times, Kabat-Zinn stated:

Mindfulness, the heart of Buddhist meditation, is at the core of being able to live life as if it really matters. It has nothing to do with Buddhism. It has to do with freedom,” Kabat-Zinn said in a telephone interview from Lexington, Mass. “Mindfulness is so powerful that the fact that it comes out of Buddhism is irrelevant..."

Kabat-Zinn is reluctant to use the word “spiritual” to describe the approach to healthy living that he promotes, characterizing it instead as being “grounded in common sense.”

“You don’t have to have a belief system or faith of one kind or another,” he said. “It’s not in conflict with faith. It’s about a profound connection with the universe … within a faith tradition or outside of any faith tradition..."

Kabat-Zinn says anything resembling religious vocabulary can be anathema to many people. He prefers to use a vocabulary that doesn’t exclude anybody.

“I don’t have to use the word ‘spiritual,’” he said. “Part of it is the power of silence and stillness. And part of that power is the power of healing that happens when you move from the domain of doing to being. It’s transformative..."

“It’s about people waking up, not being confined by any belief system,” he said. “Awareness is bigger than a belief system.” (See; Emphasis mine). 

So mindfulness is "the heart of Buddhist meditation," yet "it has nothing to do with Buddhism" and the fact that it comes from Buddhism is "irrelevant." Got all that? The altered states of consciousness (ASCs) that mindfulness meditation typically develops, tend to result in a radically restructured, and false, view of self and society. Characteristically, one ends up thinking that the material universe is a dream or an illusion and that one’s true nature is one essence with God. This is, in principle, Buddhist teaching. 

Moreover, trance states and ASCs have been traditionally associated with the occult world, demonism, and other forms of spirit contact, such as shamanism, witchcraft, neo-paganism, magic ritual, Satanism, mediums, and yoga. Whether one is a short- or long- term practitioner, mindfulness meditation is designed to change one’s view of “self” and the world by altering one’s conscious­ness. This is opening oneself to demonic influence. 

Mindfulness and the Vatican II Sect

"Catholic Mindfulness" is pushed by members of the Vatican II sect, but none more prestigious than Dr. Greg Bottaro. According to his website:

Dr. Greg Bottaro is a Catholic psychologist, founder of the CatholicPsych Institute and developer of the CatholicPsych Model of Applied Personalism (CPMAP).Before he was married, he spent 4 years as a Franciscan Friar under the mentorship of Fr. Benedict Groeschel. He's now married with 7 kids under 10. (See 

Bottaro insists that mindfulness can be "Catholic." A blogger, Laura Eppen, also a Vatican II sect member, agrees:

Dr. Greg challenges a common misconception concerning practicing mindfulness as a faithful Catholic by comparing it to breathing or tea-drinking.  

“Mindfulness doesn’t lend itself to already needing to defend itself,” he explains, “People say we shouldn’t use that word, but actually the word mindfulness is not implicating an Eastern practice in itself anyway, any more than tea-drinking is... but if you're drinking tea as part of a Buddhist ceremony or a Hindu ceremony, then that’s something we would not want to do as Catholics. But we’re not going to say, ‘Well then, stop drinking tea.’” 

(See Bottaro is correct that tea drinking is not inherently Buddhist. However, his protestations to the contrary notwithstanding, mindfulness, unlike tea, is inexorably tied to paganism/occultism.

Miss Eppen puts her finger on why mindfulness is considered Catholic---the heretical teachings of Vatican II:

 Perhaps the most common criticism of mindfulness is that it is a Buddhist or non-Christian practice and thus, not suitable for faithful Catholics. It’s helpful here to begin by understanding the Catholic Church’s stance on relating to other religions.

In 1965, Pope Paul VI wrote about this relationship in his Declaration on The Relation of the Church to Non-Christian Religions (Nostra aetate): 

Likewise, other religions found everywhere try to counter the restlessness of the human heart, each in its own manner, by proposing “ways,” comprising teachings, rules of life, and sacred rites. The Catholic Church rejects nothing that is true and holy in these religions. The Church, therefore, exhorts her sons, that through dialogue and collaboration with the followers of other religions, carried out with prudence and love and in witness to the Christian faith and life, they recognize, preserve and promote the good things, spiritual and moral, as well as the socio-cultural values found among these men.

It is fair and just to say that mindfulness falls under the category of a “good thing” since, although it has foundations in Buddhism, it is not an exclusive practice of Buddhism. (Ibid).

The false ecclesiology of Vatican II places a separation between "the Church of Christ" and the Catholic Church. They are no longer one and the same. The Church of Christ subsists in the Catholic Church in its fullness because it has all the "elements" of the Church of Christ. However, the Church of Christ subsists elsewhere, depending on how many "elements" of truth the sect has; to have all elements is best, but having only some is good too, and leads to salvation. Therefore, we can get "good elements" from something that has "foundations in Buddhism." 

Again, Miss Eppen:

When critically evaluating the usefulness of new schools of prayer or thought, Dr. Greg is adamant that understanding what exactly it is we are talking about is crucial for healthy dialogue and practice. He agrees with this definition of mindfulness from John Kabat-Zin, innovator of Mindfulness-Based Stress Reduction (MBSR): “[Mindfulness is] the awareness that arises from paying attention on purpose in the present moment, non-judgmentally.” Kabat-Zinn also encourages people to see that Buddhism doesn’t own mindfulness, just as Sir Isaac Newton doesn’t own gravity, simply because he identified it. Mindfulness as a concept and practice may have been identified elsewhere, but it has an integral place that fits in accordance with Catholic teaching, prayer, and the call to holiness. In fact, many saints have practiced mindfulness devoutly throughout their lives under different names. 

There are other schools of thought about prayer and meditation that share similarities to mindfulness practice, such as Brother Lawrence’s’ The Practice of the Presence of God and Fr. Jean-Pierre de Cassade’s Abandonment to Divine Providence. And when asked whether mindfulness is different, Dr. Greg states, “It’s not necessarily that it’s different. It’s just that I find those approaches to be a bit incomplete, where it's just the spiritual focus–and that's really important. But I would also say that Kabat-Zinn would be incomplete in that it’s only the psychological focus. So, the thing that’s kind of missing is the combination and the integration of both and that's what I'm trying to provide with The Mindful Catholic and with the program that I have.” (Ibid; Emphasis mine). 

Here, Bottaro agrees with the pagan definition of Kobat-Zinn, and pompously sees the spiritual classic of Fr. de Cassade as "incomplete." No saint has ever practiced the nonsense pushed by Bottaro. In mindfulness, the practitioner spends his time in meditation attempting to control his or her awareness, trying to maintain it upon either a single point, the rhythm of his breathing, or whatever is most prominent in his consciousness. You are even to remain nonjudgmental toward any thoughts and impulses that come to mind. Bottaro makes use of paying attention to breathing, etc. exactly like a pagan/occult practitioner. In Catholic meditation, you relinquish control to Almighty God, the opposite of mindfulness. This was taught by St. Teresa of Avila, who describes four distinct stages of prayer that the faithful Christian may experience in the course of one’s lifetime.

Bottaro is pushing occult/pagan mindfulness as "Catholic," and leading souls into danger. 


There is no such thing as "Catholic Mindfulness" anymore than there can be "Catholic Atheism." One excludes the other of necessity. Mindfulness leads to ASCs, the acceptance of a pantheistic worldview, and demonic activity. Occultist Laeh Garfield  who channels "spirit helpers," writes in Companion in Spirit: A Guide to Working with Your Spirit Helpers [1984], pg. 34, “[Mindfulness] Meditation simultaneously calms you down, uplifts you and sharpens your awareness, so that discarnate teachers can come through to you with the messages they con­vey.” (Emphasis mine).

 There is also evidence that such meditation can be bad for your mental health. (See  Learn to pray from the spiritual masters, such as St. Ignatius of Loyola, or St. John of the Cross. Engage in "Catholic Mindfulness" at the risk of your mental health and endangering your soul.