"Unless Ye Do Penance..."|
The Most Reverend
Bishop Francis Konrad Maria
of the Immaculate Heart of Mary
Through the course of human history we find often repeated the story of man's straying from the path of truth and light and goodness which His Almighty Creator has set before him. And each time that God's people have strayed He has manifested to them His Infinite Love and Mercy by sending to them a messenger to warn them to return to the right path, or if they failed to respond to His Divine Love, to prepare for the chastisement demanded by His Divine Justice. Thus we see in the Old Testament the warnings of God's prophets and angels to a sinful mankind -- either to amend their lives and purify themselves or, in refusing that, to be purified by the cleansing chastisement which would befall them. Thus, too, we learn of man's repeated folly in rejecting these Heaven-sent messengers and their warnings, and thereupon suffering the awesome calamities which they brought upon themselves.
With the coming of Our Divine Savior to redeem a fallen mankind many would like us to believe that God's just wrath was no longer necessary as redeemed man had evolved to a plateau of Teilhardian perfection which made his mundane struggle between flesh and spirit a thing of the past. How quickly these poor modernists forget Christ's admonitions! Admonitions which reveal that His coming was to open the Gates of Heaven, to redeem immortal souls, to teach men the hard road to eternal salvation, the straight and narrow path of Calvary. Never did His admonitions permit one to think that God's just wrath was no longer existent nor that man should no longer endure the struggle between flesh and spirit which resulted from the original fall. Neither did He mitigate the assurance that those who strayed from the right path and did not repent would suffer the consequential punishment of eternal damnation. Rather did He repeatedly warn that His kingdom was not of this world, that His true followers cannot and must not live in the spirit of the world, and that only those who rejected the spirit of the world and its allurements would be saved! How different is the gospel of the modernist liberals from the Gospel of Jesus Christ! "No man can serve two masters... He who loves the world hates Me; he who loves Me hates the world." (Matt. 6:24 et al.) ....."If any man will follow Me, LET HIM DENY HIMSELF, TAKE UP HIS CROSS, and follow Me." (Mark 8:34) The call of Christ to His true followers is the call of the Cross. "Unless ye do penance, ye shall likewise perish." (Luke 13:5) Harsh words, these of the Christian Gospel, which warn us that if we do not do penance, mortify our flesh, subdue our love of self, die to ourselves that we might live in Christ, we are ASSURED of eternal damnation. No sweet-talking Teilhardian utopianism this!
Thus have the centuries from the very time of Christ until now provided us with a multitude of saints who have illustrated the unchanging truth of practicing penance and mortification as a necessary requisite in our striving for sanctity. How obvious is it then, that the false gospel so prevalent in our day -- the shunning of penance, mortification, and even the Cross; the mad rush to embrace and "adapt to" the "spirit of the world" (even though it be pagan); the implicit denial of the struggle between the flesh and the spirit emanating from a denial of original sin itself; the glorification of the ego and rejection of the apostle's admonition to "die" to ourselves; the subtle omission of the Passion in "modern" teaching and even the suppression of the element of Calvary in the Mass -- all these are a blasphemous contradiction of the very admonitions of Christ Himself! To whom shall we listen -- the admittedly "hard sayings" of Jesus Christ, His apostles, and His saints through the centuries, OR the false "christs" of our day who preach a much more "comfortable" gospel, the gospel of the world, which is the antithesis of the gospel of Jesus Christ! If it be the only begotten Son of God that we would follow, then we must accept, like it or not, that we shall not be saved unless we do penance -- unless we mortify our flesh, purge ourselves of worldly lusts, and die to ourselves that we might live in Christ.
Such a difficult truth is not easy to accept for us, who live in a society rotting with the cancer of materialism and glorification of the flesh! The depravity of our age reeks with the stench of Luciferian triumph. Even the elect have been deceived by "the prince of this world" (as Christ called him) into following his satanic gospel of false charity and rejection of Divine precepts. And once again as God witnessed His people straying from the right path, He sent mankind a messenger of His mercy and love -- His very own Mother! At Lourdes, at La Salette, at Fatima, She repeated the warnings of the prophets and the saints ) "I have come to ask men to AMEND THEIR LIVES. Men must cease offending God Who is already too much offended." "If my requests are not heeded, God's justice will chastise the world ... wars, famine, bloodshed, confusion in the Church, Satan will reign in the highest places...." Again men have chosen to scorn these warnings of Divine Mercy and once again they must expect to reap the wrath of Divine Justice, for they have freely chosen it! Purify yourselves or be purified!
For God's remnant faithful in this frightful age of apostasy, perversion, and satanic victory, it is more necessary than ever that they carefully heed the admonitions of their Divine Savior and His Merciful Mother ) sincere amendment of life, increased prayer (Our Lady asked especially for the daily Rosary with meditation upon the Mysteries), sacrifice of daily duty, consecration to the Sacred Heart of Jesus and the Immaculate Heart of Mary, and, as Our Lady pleaded at Lourdes ) "Penance! penance! penance!" Truly, dear friends, if we would dare hope to persevere in this age of antichrist, we must take to heart and apply in our daily lives the admonition of the Gospels! UNLESS YE DO PENANCE, YOU SHALL ALL LIKEWISE PERISH!
Get out of that easy chair, turn off the television, and get down on your knees! The times do not permit "easy living" for those who would be saved. If you do not reject the spirit of the world, you have chosen Satan as your master -- if you continue to live by the material standards of our modern society you shall lose your soul -- for "no man can serve two masters"! Who is your master? Christ or the world? What daily penance and mortification of the flesh and the ego do you practice so that you shall not "likewise PERISH"? Let us give these questions serious thought if we would withstand the diabolical snares present today on every side! And, finally, let us pray for the grace to live unfalteringly united with our Beloved Crucified and His most Sorrowful Mother!