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Saturday 4 January 2014

The Errors of Pro-Lifers

I am increasingly concerned with three errors which are being promulgated by pro-lifers, both in the States and in England. The reason why I am concerned, is that, possibly, heresies are behind these errors.

The first one was corrected by the Pope Emeritus and announced at a retreat I attended in 2011. In England, some one was pushing a prayer which identified those poor babies who are aborted with martyrs of the Faith.

Thankfully, this was clarified by Rome and the prayer which was being used was altered to reflect the correction. Aborted children are not martyrs. These victims of murder are not witnesses to Christ. They cannot be compared with the Holy Innocents, who died directly because of Jesus Christ.

Aborted babies do not experience either the martyrs Baptism of Blood, or the adult's Baptism of Desire. And some one cannot desire this for them, sadly. This second type of baptism is connected with error two.

That is the first error and it has been officially corrected.

The second error is that is that aborted babies are innocent children of God. They are innocent as far as being innocent victims of murder, but as captives in Original Sin, these poor babies are not children of God and do not have sanctifying grace. Can God intervene and take away that first sin of Adam, which causes spiritual death? Yes, but we cannot suppose that. Otherwise, we are denying the efficacy of baptism.

None of us are born innocent and none of us are children of God and heirs of heaven until we are baptized.

Here is one of the sections in the CCC on this point.

1257 The Lord himself affirms that Baptism is necessary for salvation.60 He also commands his disciples to proclaim the Gospel to all nations and to baptize them.61 Baptism is necessary for salvation for those to whom the Gospel has been proclaimed and who have had the possibility of asking for this sacrament.62 The Church does not know of any means other than Baptism that assures entry into eternal beatitude; this is why she takes care not to neglect the mission she has received from the Lord to see that all who can be baptized are "reborn of water and the Spirit." God has bound salvation to the sacrament of Baptism, but he himself is not bound by his sacraments.

The heresy of universal salvation, which claims that all men and women are saved may be behind this false thinking. Also, the heresy of Pelagianism states that man's nature is basically good. This is not true. We are born in sin.  Look at Romans 5:12 and the CCC on baptism if confused.

The third error is that these babies are in heaven. Just this afternoon, I saw this on twitter. We cannot say that for sure, and as Blessed John Paul II stated, and as stated in:

CCC, 1261 As regards children who have died without Baptism, the Church can only entrust them to the mercy of God, as she does in her funeral rites for them. Indeed, the great mercy of God who desires that all men should be saved, and Jesus' tenderness toward children which caused him to say: "Let the children come to me, do not hinder them,"64 allow us to hope that there is a way of salvation for children who have died without Baptism. All the more urgent is the Church's call not to prevent little children coming to Christ through the gift of holy Baptism.

Too often, pro-lifers want to feel good about the destruction of these poor babies by stating opinions as facts which may or may not be true. We know what Christ has taught about baptism. We know that God can do all things. But, we must not be presumptuous in order to hide the real horror of abortion, which is not only the death of a body, but the possible denial of a soul experiencing the Beatific Vision.

This last fact must be considered if we are to face the entire horror of this slaughter of millions of children through-out the world. We should weep and grieve, indeed, and work to end abortion.

Here is a good site for more information.

A Very Interesting Article

Thanks to Lisa Gras for the heads-up on this article. It is worth reading. Here are a few selections.

The diocese of Milan recently nominated seven new exorcists, the bishop of Naples appointed three new ones a couple of years ago and the Catholic Church in Sardinia sent three priests for exorcism training in Rome, amid concern that the Mediterranean island, particularly its mountainous, tradition-bound interior, is a hotbed of occultism....

In Spain, Antonio Maria Rouco Varela, the archbishop of Madrid, chose eight priests to undergo special training in May to confront what he described as “an unprecedented rise” in cases of “demonic possession”. The Church in Spain was coming across many cases that “go beyond the competence of psychologists” and they were occurring with “a striking frequency”, the archbishop said.
“Diabolical possessions are on the increase as a result of people subscribing to occultism,” said Fr Francesco Bamonte, the president of the Italy-based International Association for Exorcists. “The few exorcists that we have in the dioceses are often not able to handle the enormous number of requests for help,” he told La Repubblica last month.

The Hour Glass Part Five

One book, at least, survived the purge of books. As Samuel, Ann, and Max entered the cave and went down to the central large cavern which was heated by underground hot springs to a temperature of about 18C, Columcille noticed an old paperback book stuffed in one of Max's pockets.

"Well, this is interesting," he exclaimed. Max look right at Columcille. "I am here because of this book. I did not know we had it and when I gave over our library to the government years ago, I honestly thought I had passed all the pesky books of Ann and her recusant family on."

They all sat down on old, very old wicker chairs. In another day, long ago, in a conservatory some where, this conversation may have seemed like a group of friends having tea and biscuits. Max continued, "Historia ecclesiastica gentis Anglorum, a book of things I hated-religion, myth, ideological history. Then I began to read it. Oh, I found it in a crack in the attic. When I got to the section on Chad, Theodore, and Wilfrid, something happened to me. I saw real men in really hard times being sensible, rational, humble."

Max stopped. Samuel had come back with water for all. Ann sat in the chair looking more vibrant than she had in years. 

"When Chad stated that he did not want or desire a bishop's ordination if it were not to be. Suddenly, I saw a man who give up status and even his love for his people for a higher good. I saw that I was never able to do that, that I only wanted status, money, love or rather, admiration. Why could I not be like this Chad? Then for the first time in my life, I said a prayer. I said "God, if you are real, like Ann believes, not only heal her completely but give me this humility which looks manly." 

Ann was beaming like a bride. Samuel reached over and touched her hand.

Max continued, "Then, Samuel came in to give Ann a last blessing or whatever. I went downstairs and stood at the end of the bed. Just as Samuel was saying some words of absolution, I honestly felt something envelope me like a huge clear bubble. I then saw Ann for the first time like I have never seen her before-a gift to me, a real gift." Max halted and put his hands to his face.

"I closed my eyes and just said, 'Thank you, God, for Ann.' Then, I heard her call me by name. She was sitting up, looking like my healthy Ann, and she was so happy."

Ann finished the story, "I knew God had given Max new sight. I knew I was healed because of Max's prayer."

Samuel asked Max, "Do you want to be baptized and confirmed in the Catholic Faith, Max, here and now?"

Max stood up, "Yes, what do I have to do?" Samuel took Max to a corner and explained that Max should make a general confession. Max and Samuel talked for about a half-hour. Then, they stood up.

Samuel walked over to the pool of warm water. "Come here, Max."

Max and Samuel took off light shoes and step into the water, "I baptized you, Max Bede, in the Name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. Amen."

Then, Samuel and Max went through the sacrament of Confirmation, with Ann as his sponsor.

Samuel said, "Come back tomorrow morning for Mass and receive you First Holy Communion. Take Ann back home and we shall see you tomorrow."

Columcille led the couple to the door, opening and closing the stone door. 

He walked back to the warm pool. "Well, one never knows how God works..."

"Book of all kinds are important," answered Samuel.

Samuel reminded Columcille that today was the day to visit the families on the seaside, about eleven miles away. In this place, in this series of caves, the waters of the ocean did not impinge on the underwater springs.

There were about thirty Catholic families in and around  Lowestoft. More families came in for Mass when word got around that Samuel and Columcille were coming for confessions and Mass.  Many Catholics from other places in East Sussex would find their way from other areas as quietly and as unobtrusively as possible. 

Of course, as in the remnant days, the days of trial, one large family in one large house was the known gathering place for the Catholics of East Suffolk. One of these houses was on the coast, a house set up by the Howard Family; a long lost secret was that one of their safe houses still existed on the coast near Lowestoft. This old house had been turned into a museum for awhile, then was a National Trust property. When the National Trust was dissolved, the house moved into the hands of a private family. This family was now Catholic and the confessions and Mass occurred in this small house on the coast. 

The Earl of Suffolk, Thomas Howard, left his mark in the area with many people protected over the hundreds of years by the old families, who had all but died out. Tomorrow, Samuel and Columcille would meet a new Thomas Howard, a man of the same name, but not the same lineage, who had agreed to bi-weekly escort the two priests to the small house, called, simply East Beach House. He was the new guide, as the other had mysteriously disappeared.

But, at the end of this day, the two priests would walk inland, towards Diss, an old town, still somewhat isolated, where a few Catholics lived and worked.

Mass would be held in the afternoon on the Lion Road in a small pub. This was a bi-weekly Mass only, and about thirty people would attend that one. Samuel knew all the families well, as his family once had a farm off the Old Bury Road. The parents and the farm were all gone, a long time ago. Samuel came from an old recusant family, his family belonging to an elite group of a few families, about seven, which had not died out, although his was not the "aristocratic" side. A few cousins dotted the Suffolk landscape, and all were strong, active Catholics. Samuel wished, now and then, that the times could be like years ago, when families worshiped freely and could attend all the high holy days together.

One cousin was the very Thomas Howard, who was the priests' guide along the way, as well as cousin to the other Thomas Howard of tomorrow's journey. The Howards seemed to lack creativity in the naming of their boys. 

They had to travel very late in the day. There was no curfew in this area, as it was not highly settled. In fact, there were fewer people living here than in the days of the First Earl of Suffolk. Until the late afternoon, both priests would spend the day in Adoration, and in hearing each other's confession, as they always did before this particular trip.

To be continued...

The Hour Glass Part Four

The early morning sky glowed pink and orange at the horizon when the two priests finished Mass in a small copse of trees in a corner of Louisiana. A third priest, Philip Scott from Texas, a vicar-general to four bishops in that Republic, had met them the night before. He approached the two, walking out of a small field of old, dried corn. He had said Mass at four, while the others slept. They took turns sleeping and watching.

Outside The Wilderness, food could be found. One of the strange phenomena was the proliferation of small animals, such a squirrel and rabbit. Also, if one could catch a Canadian Goose, such birds flourished in the southern states below the glacier line, which was covering Canada and the upper states.

Philip could be seen from a distance. He was a large African-American, In his hands were two rabbits.

One of the great tools in Antonio's backpack was a complete trapper's set and knives. The priests would have a good breakfast today.

"And I will move them to jealously with those who are not a people, " laughed Philip. He was an Anglican convert as well, and still quoted the psalms from the old Longmans and Green Breviary. No one minded.

"I also have some Manna Berries," he exclaimed. Manna Berries, named by the southern Americans, were a strange type of red berry which grew on small, short bushes which proliferated after the nuclear blast. People called them Manna Berries for three reasons. One, these berries could be found every where from the western boundary of the Republic of Texas to the Atlantic coast of Florida. One could make sauce out of the Manna Berries to put on rabbit, for example.  Two, they just appeared after the first blast, and three, one got thoroughly sick of them. Rabbit and Manna Berries was the most common dinner in the South.

This dish was becoming the ordinary daily dinner of most people.

"All we need is a food kiosk," said Antonio. The three priests got to work cooking. Antonio's backpack was a traveling survival kitchen. He even had salt, a rare commodity.

"Do you trust the tenders of the food kiosks, Philip? Antonio was curious about the new, small bartering stations which had sprung up in the South. People who horded food in cans or dried food stuffs, mostly stolen from huge warehouses, such as the old WalMarts, people who did not have traps like Antonio had in his backpack, traded canned goods for rabbits and squirrels. Four cans of carrots, peas, spinach, or peaches could be traded for one squirrel. A rabbit bought five cans, or four cans and a dried packet of soup stuff.

That the small animals flourished was considered by most people, the enduring Christians of the South, as a direct blessing from God. All people prayed a prayer of thanks before eating, knowing that people farther north were starving to death in many areas.

Another anomaly was a new species of green grape, which grew wild at the edge of forests. When Anselm in Rome had heard this, he declared these grapes the official wine-making grapes for the altar wine in America.

In the Republic of Texas, there were vineyards cultivating these wild grapes and wine makers specifically created a vinum mustum, an approved young wine for sacramental use. The apostolic letter from Anselm on the use of young wine greatly helped the priests in America continue saying the Mass.

All priests felt that God had given them the new wild grapes as sheer gift. The common name for these grapes, and the wine from them was Meribah, because of the complaints of the laity of the odd taste when first used, especially if the priest could only use the juice he himself made by pressing the grapes in the chalice.

Priests joked about Meribah Must, but it was, literally a God-send.

"OK, we have time for news. What is this great news from Texas you promised to share, Philip", asked James.

"Well, in one word, conversions. We are seeing, literally, thousands of people asking to become Catholics. Near San Antonio, we baptized at least 3,000 people over Christmas, and near Houston, more than that came in . The bishops are also ordaining more priests. We think there are as many as 700 new priests ready to go out into other areas for ministry. In fact, several were sent into occupied territory, in Oklahoma, and contact was made with some of the Benedictines in exile there."

James passed around the stew of Manna Berries and rabbit. "Good, and I imagine this will be shared at the meeting."

Philip took his plate, "Yes, we all need good news. There is too much bad news. I also have to share that more executions in New Mexico and Arizona by the Chinese Army have basically decimated the Catholic populations in those two states. We only know of one bishop who has escaped and is in hiding. Three bishops were killed in January."

"It is amazing how the Texans have kept the Chinese out of the Republic," said Antonio. "Truly amazing."

"Well, we have guns. Most people outside The Wilderness have no guns owing to the registrations of 2014. The government took away guns in most states. Thankfully, Texans were stubborn. And, thankfully, the Chinese have run out of ammunition, as the glaciers have interrupted movement through Canada and the seaports no longer exist. Who would have thought after the first invasion that Nature would stop the largest army on earth from completing a take-over of America."

"You mean God, not Nature," noted Antonio and all three priests nodded.

After breaking camp and making sure no one could tell where they had eaten, the three proceeded south and east from their corner of Louisiana. The walk to the meeting would take at least two more full days. "At least it is not raining, " said James. "Or snowing, " said Antonio.

To be continued....

Prayers Needed

I have asthma and this cold air makes life very hard for asthma sufferers. Please remember to pray for me and all who suffer with breathing problems at this time.

Thank you.


The Hour Glass Part Three

Before joining the priests in England, a digression on the great burning of books must be inserted here.

The global government began to push, through the dying EU and the American government, a banning, then a burning of books. The reasoning behind the burning of books in all western countries was that leaders began to realize that liberal education created the legions of rebels against their efforts. Instead of hitting the rebel groups individually, the two governing bodies, which became the United Government of Europe and the Provisional Military Government of America, (the names created by the globalists), the first step was to seize all religious books, all history books not published by the governing bodies and all literature before the year 2018.

Anyone found hoarding books not only had their books taken from them, but these people or organizations were fined and imprisoned. The great universities had agreed to a compromise, which involved an agreement that the governments would allow certain books, but have in place government overseers in charge of the university libraries. Those libraries which refused were taken over and the contents burned. Fines accompanied the burnings.

Most of the Catholic new universities were fined and shut down.

In Europe, the anarchists volunteered to control the burning. All the cities of Europe were purged of religious books, literature, poetry, and history books.  In some places, the Muslem communities helped the government destroy the infidels books. This seemed like a good idea until the government began destroying the holy books of Islam. Civil war waged in some countries, like Germany and England, until the great endless winters overtook most activities.

But, the books were gone, or at least, seemed to be. During this time, and even before, the Pope had ordered all clergy to memorize the texts mentioned earlier.

In Rome, the Pope had also organized the shipment of libraries and art work to places in Africa. Some thought Anselm himself was there in hiding, but no one knew for sure. Like the contraband books, Anselm was, at least temporarily, safe.

In England, the glaciers were diverted but the snows and ice storms interrupted life. Columcille and Samuel worked together as did all priests.

And, this morning, Columcille was relieved to see Samuel returning as the laity were leaving Mass. But, Samuel was heading for the cave with two other people. One was Ann Swallow, and the other was her husband, Max. What was most astounding was that Ann was walking and smiling, not at all looking like a woman of 75 facing death. And, what was also amazing, was that Max was with her, the same agnostic husband who had caused the most pain in this good woman's life by openly deriding her beloved Catholicism most of their married life.

to be continued....


The first novella starts on December 13th-one must scroll up to follow the story, of course.

This one will continue over the next several days.


The Hour Glass Part Two

James and Antonio never worked apart. It was the wish of the Pope in hiding that all priest work in twos, if possible. And, the job of this team, to go through The Wasteland and minister to Catholics and gather information of the remnant, demanded that each support the other in prayer, in brotherhood.

James Carter was older than Antonio. He had been an Anglican priest for 20 years and had converted and been ordained before the establishment of the Ordinariate in North America. His wife and three daughters had tragically died in the nuclear blast, as they had traveled to Colorado Springs to visit the grandparents for Christmas. All the Carter Clan had perished.

James had been prepared for horrible times, but the fact that his entire living family had been taken all at once in a huge gathering at Christmas had take an long time to sink in. His brother, Robert and Robert's wife and children, his uncles and aunts, his nieces and nephews all died immediately, as the center of the blast was Denver. James had the small wedge of peace that his family has not suffered long, if at all.

Antonio had also lost his entire family in Chicago, in the great tidal wave. Antonio had been in Rome at the time, finishing up a course in Canon Law, as he was only recently ordained, when the terrible flooding of the Midwest had occurred.

He knew, instinctively, that his mother, sisters, and nieces were all gone, along with the rest of the family in Roger's Park. Although Antonio had never received word of their deaths, all the Guzmans and Costellos had perished immediately in the great tidal wave, which had been caused by the largest earthquake ever witnessed on earth, located just north of Toronto, making all the waters of Lake Michigan move north and then flow back down in a great tidal wave over the middle west. The waters filled the great Mississippi Valley up to the tops of the cliffs and destroyed any cities below that line.

Like James, Antonio was grateful that his good family had perished immediately and quickly and did not witness the violent anarchy which overtook the states of northern Illinois, Wisconsin, Michigan and parts of Minnesota and Iowa. Sadly, the great Catholic Bruderhoff in Mundelein, with about 1,000 Catholics, had been destroyed in the great tidal wave as well. No knowledge of that group had trickled down into other parts of the state. It was assumed all had died. Antonio, being from the Archdiocese of Chicago, had to bear other sorrows, as many of those people in the Catholic Bruderhoff had been his personal friends. Antonio did not know for years that, indeed, many of that group had left to go south to the new community outside of Irondale, having been warned in prayer to do so...but not all had heeded the warning.

The two priests were bound in grief as well as duty.

All transcripts were written out in notebooks in pencil and sent via an underground of priests and deacons to the southern part of Appalachia, and then to the coast of Florida, where some wealthy Catholic families maintained two shipping businesses which allowed communication to England and then to Rome.

Besides ministering the sacraments and saying Mass on the road, travelling from place to place, Antonio and James were commanded by Anselm to get as much information as possible about the state of the Catholic Church in America.

Small, excellent surprises had encouraged these two men, as they quickly discovered that many people from the north had moved to southern Illinois, inland Missouri, and most of the southern states, creating instant communities of survivors.

Other good news was that there were many priests already serving these new itinerant communities and as the dioceses had to go underground, many were just working as "lone rangers" as they were fondly called.

Antonio was the most serious of the two. His youth was clouded by so much trauma and loss, that James had to help him with this transition to missionary priest and emissary to Rome. James was a typical intellectual, almost "effete" and still wore the traces of his long Anglican life in his manner.

But James loved Antonio like a son, and the two worked well together. Prayer sustained them, and even on the road, they found time to talk and share ideas.

One of the great treasures in James' back pack was a Summa of the Summa. James' background in Aquinas, (he had done his doctoral thesis on the virtues in the Summa) gave him the ability to teach Antonio, who, like the proverbial sponge, soaked up the wonderful insights of James. In turn, Antonio was teaching James both Spanish and Tagalog, as Antonio had spent a year in the Filipino community in Chicago as a deacon and was a whiz with languages.

The conversation and prayer of these two priests on the road grew into long discussions on virtues and the intricacies of language.

On this trip, James and Antonio were leaving The Wasteland and moving into Louisiana to meet up with some other priests for a small American conference. Rumor had it that at least three bishops would also be attending.

This secret meeting was to be held in Bienville.

As all priests across the world had taken on other skills, James had learned basic architecture, the old way, with pencil, paper and the old tools of the trade. He was actually quite talented. Antonio was a carpenter.

Recently, both has met a priest who had travelled up from Texas and had word on the Catholics in that state.

Again, the state had been spared the take-over of China in the western states and western Canada, as the great tidal wave had stopped the fighting and because the Texans had waged a huge war in the north, holding off until the Chinese army retreated back to Arizona and New Mexico. There still was a stand-off.

Texas had also declared itself a Republic again and taken over all federal rule. No one cared. Texas was thriving in some ways and more and more people who had survived the blast and the brief war straggled into Texas, making it the most crowded state, before it declared independence in 2023. The fast onset of the glacial era had forced the Chinese back, as their own country was rapidly being covered in ice and supplies to the army interrupted. Weapons were scarce, and none of the Chinese wanted to use nuclear weapons after witnessing the horrible destruction of western Canada and America by the rogue government of North Korea, which no longer existed, being blasted out of existence by the orders of the dying American president, in Hawaii at the time, in sheer revenge. China was no longer in a position to finish taking over America, although it held all The Wasteland west from the Pacific to the Red River Valley in the north, and to the borders of Texas to the south, excluding Arkansas and Missouri, which for some reason, lay like islands surrounded by the mighty waters of the Mississippi on one side and the waters of the Missouri and the Arkansas creating dry spaces, large areas of clear land. Basically, all the states west of the upper Missouri were in the hands of the rapidly shrinking Chinese army or destroyed by the great nuclear blast. Some areas of Arizona and New Mexico had not been destroyed by the blast, but now lay under Chinese rule. Those two states were the only states in the west where there was some semblance of normality, except for martial law and conquest. Water was a problem, however, as most of the water was polluted.

That communications were almost non-existent, as the gird was gone, and as the major communication companies, mostly located in Los Angeles, were gone, there was no real news. Most Americans simply were existing in survival mode. The east coast has been taken over by the global government immediately after the blast and those places had become, like the west, states under martial law-but under a different warlord. America, therefore, was divided into several areas and under two tyrannical governments, neither of which could hold things together. Much of the northeast had experiences anarchy. New York was a battleground of looters, criminals, and the military.

James and Antonio were making their way to Lousiana when they met the priest from Texas. Something interesting was happening there.

To be continued....

Sequel to The Novella-The Hour Glass Part One

Columcille woke up with a headache. He always work up with a headache in the tunnels, as the air was stale and dank. As he unraveled his long body from the sleeping bag, he fumbled around for his watch. Five, GMT.

Thankfully, his seminary training has included the discipline of memorizing the entire Breviary, as well as the entire Roman Missal, the Pontifical, the Ritual, the Martyrology, the Gradual, and the Antiphonary.

All the priests left in the world had been instructed by Pope Leo XIV to memorize the Scriptures as well.

All priests could work, could provide the sacraments, could say the Mass and preach without any books. 

Of course, computer access had ended thirteen years before with the complete collapse of the electronic grid in all the countries, except for a small place in Greenland, where the one government ruled over the world from places hidden in ice and snow.

The beginning of the world-wide glaciation had corresponded with the one nuclear blast which had destroyed one-third of the United States in 2019. The cold had been setting in before that date, but accelerated. Most people over the age of 75 had succumbed in Europe and in Canada, where daily temperatures hovered at minus 20 C.  No one knew exactly how many old people had died in America.

Columcille was the last surviving member of his family. His old parents had seen him ordained, and then passed on in the first winter in England after 2019.

The priest went over to a small cupboard which was leaning up against a wall of the cave and took out a large crucifix completely made of wood. It was old, Flemish, 15th century, and had been in Columcille's family since recusant times. as were his entire collection of relics of the saints prior to 1435. 

The old house had been taken over by the United Government of Europe in 2020. And, Columcille was glad his parents had not witnessed the sacrilege of the old chapel. The beautiful Sussex home had been one of three places where the Mass had never ended up to this time. A heavy burden on Columcille's heart was the knowledge that Mass would never be said there again.

The young priest knelt on the cold ground, after putting on a heavy anorak, and prayed his morning office.

He would wait for the few faithful in the area to join him for Mass in about 90 minutes. This would give Columcille enough time to say his office and enter into his daily contemplation. He was content to have this time before Mass and before meeting Samuel, the only other priest in the area for house visitations.

No one was allowed to use the name of  "Father". No one was allowed to wear blacks or any indication of the priestly vocation. To outsiders, Columcille looked like a workman. His identity card stated that he was a plumber, and Columcille did know how to be a plumber. The other great wise decision of Pope Leo XIV had been that all seminarians would learn a skill, such as plumbing, carpentry, and  brick work. 

Thankfully, for the Catholics, when the grid disintegrated, all electrical life ended and electrical surveillance also ended, for a time. The government was working on a world-wide grid again, but things were moving slowly.

Columcille finished his prayers. He always kept a long fast from 10 the night before until after Mass. This was also a necessity, as food and water were scarce. Columcille stopped and thanked God again that Great Britain had been spared the nuclear fall-out and that the waters were good to drink. 

Such was not the case in much of North and Central America, where all the great rivers and lakes were so heavily polluted that they were labelled the "Death Waters".

The western states died first, all plants, all animal, all people. Then, when the waters of the Great Lakes backed up and returned to fill the great Mississippi River Valley, most of the great cities of the Midwest died as well. Chicago had been completely destroyed in the first tidal waves, followed by all the major cities along the coasts of the other Great Lakes, and those cities in the Mississippi Valley.

Diseases followed the flooding, and what nature did not kill, the looters and murderers who spread out from the ruins of Chicago and the other great cities finished.

If there were any Catholics left in any area north of the Mason-Dixon Line, no one knew for sure.

No one except Samuel, who regularly got dispatches from two priests in America in what was now called The Wasteland.

The Wasteland priests were one Latino from Illinois and one Anglican convert, ordained in the last days before the great blast. Antonio and James worked as a team in the Wasteland and reported back to Samuel, who passed information back to Rome, to Pope Leo XIV, who was in hiding and know only as Anselm, his given name at birth. The Pope was English. It was strange to many that the Pope in these times would be English, as if this had to happen, once even noted in a famous novel now lost to most, as most books were destroyed by law by the United Government of Europe in 2019, just before the nuclear blast.

Anselm, however, even though he was English by birth and name, was of mixed background. His mother had been Scottish. His brother had been named Angus, but he was lost in the riots of 2021, a priest killed by a mob in Paris, where Angus had gone to help the suffering Church there. 

Anselm had named all those Catholics killed in Paris in 2021 martyrs. His brother would now help him in a different way.

Columcille rose and went down the long tunnel to the entrance of the cavern. The doorway looked like stone and  was amazingly well-constructed not to be noticed.  The priest rolled the stone into a secret wall and then saw the small crowd in the morning light waiting. There were about twenty people of all ages coming to hear and participate in Mass.

As they shuffled into the tunnel, Columcille saw Samuel at the end of the small queue. He was gesticulating.

"A word, Columcille, a word." The young priest went over to the mouth of the cave to where the old priest was standing.

"Ann Swallow is dying. I need to go and give her the Last Rites. Can you manage? She is too weak to come here."

Columcille looked worried, "Her husband is not a Catholic. You could be trapped."

"I cannot let her die without the sacraments. She has been so good to us all these years, and she is the last Catholic in her family of faithful people I knew growing up. I need to go."

"God be with you, Samuel. I shall offer up my Mass for both of you."

The old priest left and Columcille rolled the rock back into place. Then, he joined the others in the largest room in the set of caverns, and Mass began.

To be continued....


The Ozark

Thanks to Wiki

My dad, who is 90, spent his youth fighting in WWII. He was in the Battle of the Bulge. His 12nd Infanty Division was in Maxey, Swift (Texas), Redball, Holland, Siegfiedline, Roer, Rhine, Elbe, Bavaria, Havre and Kilmer.

Dad never, never talks about this, and when the neighbor, who was at the Italian front went to Europe with his wife (he is now 93 and she is 85), they asked my parents to go. Dad did not want to go.

We need to remember what all these veterans did for us.

We need to honor our vets.

I know few details, like Dad and his group eating eggs for two weeks at Fort Swift, as the food had not come down yet.

Or how, he went for a walk and ended up in the women's nurses' corp camp and they almost kidnapped him.

Or how, he was in charge of men who had to bury all the dead bodies of all the Jews in every little village between the French border and Berlin, as the people, even though they knew the war had been lost, were burning the last, few remaining Jews alive.

In 1965, at the twentieth anniversary of the Nuremberg Trials, my dad told me that he and his men (he was in charge) would see smoke coming out of a barn and they knew that the villagers had burned the last few Jews. He and his men buried the burnt corpses, most of which were found huddled by the barn doors, trying to get out.

They died in the flames.

This happened over and over again on the route to Berlin. This is one reason why my dad does not talk about the war.

Here is one of the incidents from wiki-but it was not the only one.

On 15 April the division discovered a war crime in Gardelegen. About 1,200 prisoners were herded into the empty barn measuring approximately a hundred by fifty feet on the outskirts of the town. The barn was then burned down, killing those inside. About 1,016 people were killed. The division commander ordered that the civilian population be forced to view the site and to disinter and rebury the victims in a new cemetery. After digging the graves and burying the bodies, they erected a cross or a Star of David over each grave and enclosed the site with a white fence. [2]

Remember all the vets in your prayers today, please.

Here is the link to the Battle of the Bulge. My dad was on the North Shoulder.

Popcorn with A Few Jewels

One of my friends, who wants me to rewrite and edit my poetry, short stories, and fairy tales, which I do not, calls my writing "popcorn with a few jewels".

That is because I write fast, and like the popcorn machine, produce something often, over and over and over.

With a few jewels.. quoth he.

A photo for him today....

I am interested in taking some of my novellas and making them into anime or mangas for Catholics. Does anyone know people involved in such who may be interested? There is a need for the new evangelization of mangas-and so many of my stories are fairy tales and political fantasies, this genre would suit the message.