Sunday, April 14, 2024

HOLY WEEK: This Kind Is Not Cast Out But By Prayer and Fasting

These are Jesus Christ himself’s own words. We must fast, and we must fast from food.

There is what should be an infamous passage in the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 17: 14-20 to be exact, in which Christ nearly simultaneously scolds his disciples for their lack of faith but then extends a word of understanding for their shortfall:

“And when he was come to the multitude, there came to him a man falling down on his knees before him, saying: Lord, have pity on my son, for he is a lunatic, and suffereth much: for he falleth often into the fire, and often into the water. And I brought him to thy disciples, and they could not cure him.

“Then Jesus answered and said: O unbelieving and perverse generation, how long shall I be with you? How long shall I suffer you? bring him hither to me. And Jesus rebuked him, and the devil went out of him, and the child was cured from that hour. Then came the disciples to Jesus secretly, and said: Why could not we cast him out? Jesus said to them: Because of your unbelief. For, amen I say to you, if you have faith as a grain of mustard seed, you shall say to this mountain, Remove from hence hither, and it shall remove; and nothing shall be impossible to you. But this kind is not cast out but by prayer and fasting.

It is one of several examples in Scripture in which Jesus seems to contradict himself, perhaps the most famous being when he anoints Peter as the rock upon which he will build his Church and then shortly after seems to call him “Satan” when Peter boasts that he will protect Christ from the cross. Of course he is not contradicting himself, or if he is, he is only all the more speaking the unpolluted truth about humanity. We remember that despicable sin today on Palm Sunday in which one minute we are glorifying Christ with Hosannas and the next minute plummeting into sin that shouts, Crucify Him! Crucify Him!

We are walking contradictions and hypocrites, all of us.

I emphasize the final words of this passage because the USCCB has done a curious thing. They have removed it, or perhaps more tellingly, relegated it to a footnote. More tellingly, I say, because it indicates the spirit of Narcissism, and I mean that in the diabolical, Biblical way, not the pop-culture Facebook meme kind of way.

The Narcissist, like a real-life Ted Bundy or fictional Riddler in Batman, must hide in plain view. Not only can they not help themselves because they are so wrapped up in, well, themselves, but, more importantly, because of the law of God. Certain demons, if not all of them, must expose themselves in some way–this gives God’s children free will to choose between sin and love. I see in this curious footnote–and not an outright deletion–that same spirit. The truth, in other words, is in the scrubbing away. The original evidence is effaced, but the mark in the effacing is still there.

Biblical forensics.

The following screenshots are from the USCCB website itself. The fact that the numbers don’t line up (Matthew 17:21 instead of 17:20) is irrelevant here; for miscellaneous reasons, this is common when comparing certain translations to the Douay-Rheims:

Mark (9:29), 9:28 in the Douay-Rheims:

If you’re a Roman Catholic or just an avid historian, you may also be interested in knowing that, according to a Catholic commentator I have come to trust, the text of 1 Corinthians 11:27-29 is not read in any cycle of the 1969 Novus Ordo (New Order) lectionary which replaced the Traditional Mass promulgated by Pope Pius V in 1570, which had stayed, even before then, largely as is for 1500-plus years excepting small, organic, incremental evolutions that mimicked the likes of an acorn to an oak tree more than an acorn to an apple.

The text from 1 Corinthians 11:27-29:

“Therefore whosoever shall eat this bread, or drink the chalice of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body and of the blood of the Lord. But let a man prove himself: and so let him eat of that bread, and drink of the chalice. For he that eateth and drinketh unworthily, eateth and drinketh judgment to himself, not discerning the body of the Lord.”

Even if this trusted commentator has somehow misspoken, is there any doubt that there are numerous Catholics not in a state of grace lining up for the Eucharist on Sundays? Even if this Scripture passage were in the cycle, our priests are certainly not doing their best to preach it.

Or were, in my case. This is why I attend the Traditional Latin Mass and invite any Catholic reader to do the same. Give it a few weeks. Give it a month. It’ll start to grow on you. And more, you’ll see that it’s like going up into grandma’s attic and finding all kinds of treasures you never knew were hovering right above your head. 

You may be asking yourself why Francis has worked so hard to scrub it away. You may be asking yourself why the FBI has been monitoring Traditional Catholics.

The Committee on the Judiciary and the Select Subcommittee on the Weaponization of the Federal Government have been investigating the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) categorization of certain Catholic Americans as potential domestic terrorists. While the FBI claims it “does not categorize investigations as domestic terrorism based on the religious beliefs—to include Catholicism—of the subject involved,” an FBI-wide memorandum originating from the FBI’s Richmond Field Office did just that. Under the guise of tackling the threat of domestic terrorism, the memorandum painted so-called certain “radical-traditionalist Catholics” (RTCs) as violent extremists and proposed opportunities for the FBI to infiltrate Catholic churches as a form of “threat mitigation.” The FBI’s Richmond memorandum is a startling reminder that Americans’ civil liberties and core Constitutional rights must be vigorously guarded against government overreach, including in this case from an overzealous federal law enforcement agency.

That was a digression, perhaps a necessary one to show that there are curious, perhaps nefarious, forces at play everywhere, and both prayer and fasting are as necessary as they’ve ever been. My point today is not to divide us, but to enjoin all of us–Traditional Catholics, New Order Catholics, and Protestants alike–to consider, deeply consider, what week we enter into today. It is Palm Sunday, the day that Jesus Christ rode in on a donkey as King mere days before the powers that be did enough to convince the people to turn on him. They crucified the very man they were hailing mere days before.

It is the same thing we do every time we praise Him on Sunday and then are right back at it, destroying God’s name and destroying our brothers and sisters Monday through Saturday.

America and Ninive

Our nation is in trouble. Our world is in trouble. Just like Ninive was in the Book of Jonas. We pray for France and Ukraine and Israel because the insidious CIA-run media tells us to, but we ignore a massacre in Russia that happened over the weekend because in this case, they don’t. We have an invasion at the southern border, an avalanche of individuals intent on wholly reshaping this country from the inside out, and we continue to scoff at and scroll past “political posts.” Then we wonder why things are turning to rubble. In the wake of the $1.2 trillion spending package (yes, you read that right) just when everyone’s focus was on the weekend (or getting their sleep), Rep Eli Crane of Arizona threw flames at this “crap bill” and practically begged all Americans to wake up:

He’s right. Too many of us are still not paying attention. And it’s not just American politics. We have no idea that at this very moment and for years now, Christians have been slaughtered and churches and statues are being burned to the ground in the name of pagan idols and Satan himself. But we mock our neighbor for not being tolerant of the very perpetrators doing it. New Order Catholics even scoff at “Trads” for being schismatics. Some have no idea that “Trads” are doing exactly what Vatican II was intended to do–foster a new love for the Mass; it’s just taken us a while. (This is a very real problem, my Protestant brothers and sisters).

In other words, our allegiances are all wrong. Our causes are all wrong. Our trust is placed in everything all wrong.

And we are all wrong because we continue to reject God in his commandment that we make–and keep–Jesus Christ as the Sovereign Lord and King not only of our hearts, but of our society, of our civilization.

But LeJeune, that seems so intolerant!

We must follow Christ’s lead, because if you read the Gospels (with an accurate translation)–actually read them and not depend on what your pastor decides to randomly present to you or what the New Order Catholic Church puts in its cycle–you’ll see that Jesus Christ was absolutely not a nice person much of the time. Read the Gospel of John and his “conversations” with the Pharisees, for instance. He told the truth, and he spoke it unequivocally, without hesitation, and without the fog. If you’re going to believe that Christ is Lord, you have to believe that Christ is Lord. Period. There can be no waffling in the middle anymore. True agape love would have you praying and fasting for your brothers and sisters not in Christ. In this world, that means “intolerance.” But Jesus Christ is not of this world, and he calls us not to be as well (Jn 18).

If Christ’s own words don’t convince us, I ask you, what good has become of this world with all its tolerance and understanding? What fruits are being produced, when Scripture point blank says it: “By their fruits you shall know them”? (Mt 7)

Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and the evil tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can an evil tree bring forth good fruit.

This is the Word of God. 

In trying to be tolerant and “loving” to our neighbor, which admittedly is a noble goal on some level, we have forgotten God the Father, the Incarnation of the Second Person of the Trinity, the Kingship of Jesus Christ. In doing so, in serving two masters as Scripture warns against (Mt 6), we have created for ourselves a modern-day Babylon scenario, where all we’re doing is running around in circles babbling nonsense to and about each other. None of it makes sense in the end. None of it is truth.

Because none of it has Jesus Christ as King at the center of it. 

We have given tolerance decades of chances. All that tolerance has done is push ancient Christendom to the margins. It has not invited others into ancient Christianity as so many had hoped. It is time to exorcise this demon of sloth, apathy, ignorance, and rejection of the cross of Christ. And it is a good guess that this is one of those demons that can only come out by prayer and fasting. 

May you have a blessed, holy, and penitent Holy Week–with prayer and fasting. There is a reason there is such a concentrated effort to remove fasting from food from our everyday conversations. They’re trying to scrub everything true and good from our collective conscience.

If we repent as a nation, there may still be time.

“And Jonas began to enter into the city one day’s journey: and he cried, and said: Yet forty days, and Ninive shall be destroyed. And the men of Ninive believed in God: and they proclaimed a fast, and put on sackcloth from the greatest to the least.

“And the word came to the king of Ninive; and he rose up out of his throne, and cast away his robe from him, and was clothed with sackcloth, and sat in ashes. And he caused it to be proclaimed and published in Ninive from the mouth of the king and of his princes, saying: Let neither men nor beasts, oxen nor sheep, taste any thing: let them not feed, nor drink water. And let men and beasts be covered with sackcloth, and cry to the Lord with all their strength, and let them turn every one from his evil way, and from the iniquity that is in their hands. Who can tell if God will turn, and forgive: and will turn away from his fierce anger, and we shall not perish? And God saw their works, that they were turned from their evil way: and God had mercy with regard to the evil which he had said that he would do to them, and he did it not” (Jonah 3).

May everyone named directly or referenced indirectly ask forgiveness and do penance for their sins against America and God. I fight this information war in the spirit of justice and love for the innocent, but I have been reminded of the need for mercy and prayers for our enemies. I am a sinner in need of redemption as well, for my sins are many. In the words of Jesus Christ himself, Lord forgive us all, for we know not what we do.