The supernatural is overrated…
A Perfect Example of Naturalism: Francis reflects on Death without mentioning Judgment, Heaven, or Hell
The world was given a rather generous glimpse into the Naturalist mind of Jorge Bergoglio today as the man otherwise known as “Pope Francis” reflected on death during his daily homily.
As we have pointed out numerous times on this web site, Francis preaches what we call the “gospel of man”, a false gospel that focuses almost exclusively on the temporal, the mundane, the natural. His concern is always with this world: Whether it be helping the needy, eradicating poverty, improving education, combatting economic injustice, advocating for a “culture of encounter” or of “tenderness”, or improving working conditions for coal miners in Indonesia, the “Pope” is always there with his oh-so tender-hearted solicitude and unsolicited advice.
While all these goals may be quite noble in and of themselves (excepting the encounter/tenderness junk), eventually people will figure out that no one really needs a Pope or a Catholic Church if the ultimate goal is simply the combatting of social problems — especially not if the remedies offered are always of the natural, humanist, and therefore lowest-common-denominator kind, which could just as easily be provided by the United Nations, Kiwanis International, or the Red Cross.
In 2016 German journalist Alexander Kissler hit the proverbial nail on the head when he called Francis a “U.N. Secretary General with a pectoral cross” (source). This apt observation takes on greater weight still when we consider that even his pectoral cross leaves a lot to be desired, as it reminds one more of a bottle opener than of the Redemption wrought by our Lord Jesus Christ.
In the First Letter of St. John, Sacred Scripture speaks about people whose primary concern is the natural world instead of the salvation of their own and others’ souls: “They are of the world: therefore of the world they speak, and the world heareth them” (1 Jn 4:5). And of course St. Paul had reminded the Colossians: “Mind the things that are above, not the things that are upon the earth” (Col 3:2).
Let’s have a look now at Francis’ Feb. 1 homily, given at the Casa Santa Marta. Its subject was death, which marks the end of the temporal and the beginning of eternity. It is thus a perfect opportunity to speak about our supernatural vocation, the fact that God created us, ultimately, not to eat, drink, and help others on planet earth, but to see, know, and love Him as He really is, for all eternity in Heaven. This is called the “Beatific Vision” and is defined as:
The immediate knowledge of God which constitutes the primary felicity of Heaven. The souls of the blessed see God directly and face to face, unveiled, clearly, openly, as he is in himself; and in this vision they equally enjoy God. This vision is supernatural, not proper to our human nature, so that the intellect of the blessed is supernaturally enlightened by the lumen gloriae [light of glory]. The primary object of the Vision is God himself as he is, in all his perfections and in the three persons of the Trinity.
(Donald Attwater, ed., A Catholic Dictionary, 3rd ed. [New York, NY: Macmillan Publishing Co., 1961], s.v. “Beatific Vision”; italics given.)
In the 14th century, Pope Benedict XII defined dogmatically:
Since the passion and death of the Lord Jesus Christ, these souls [in Heaven] have seen and see the divine essence with an intuitive vision and even face to face, without the mediation of any creature by way of object of vision; rather the divine essence immediately manifests itself to them, plainly, clearly and openly, and in this vision they enjoy the divine essence. Moreover, by this vision and enjoyment the souls of those who have already died are truly blessed and have eternal life and rest. Also the souls of those who will die in the future will see the same divine essence and will enjoy it before the general judgment.
Such a vision and enjoyment of the divine essence do away with the acts of faith and hope in these souls, inasmuch as faith and hope are properly theological virtues. And after such intuitive and face-to-face vision and enjoyment has or will have begun for these souls, the same vision and enjoyment has continued and will continue without any interruption and without end until the last Judgment and from then on forever.
(Pope Benedict XII, Apostolic Constitution Benedictus Deus; Denz. 530)
The Beatific Vision is the ultimate goal of human existence. To attain it is the reason why God created us. It is perfect happiness and perpetual bliss, infinitely and essentially superior to any created thing. In the Beatific Vision, all our desires will be perfectly satiated by God, in overabundance, “good measure and pressed down and shaken together and running over” (Lk 6:38). If we do not attain this Beatific Vision, we will have lost everything there is to lose and we will be an eternal failure in hell.
There is, then, plenty to say and meditate on concerning death, which is the gateway to eternity, and the way of the Cross we must tread to attain, aided by divine grace, our final end. But how does “Pope” Francis reflect on death? What does Mr. Bergoglio have to say about it?
Both Vatican News and Zenit reported on the “papal” homily. The report published by Zenit summarizes Francis’ message in its subtitle: “Death is a fact, death is an inheritance and death is a memory.” If you’re suspecting already that this isn’t going to be a Catholic reflection on death, you’re suspecting correctly.
Francis wasted no time reminding his hapless audience that “we are men and women on a journey in time” and that “we have to look forward”, lest we “go wandering in this selfish labyrinth of the moment”. He pointed out that everyone needs “to pray, and to ask for the grace of a sense of time” so that one is not “imprisoned” by the present moment because that would mean one is “closed in on oneself.”
Continuing with this profoundly insightful and spiritually unparalleled analysis, Francis emphasized that “death is a legacy”:
…not a material inheritance, but a legacy of memory.
And so we should ask ourselves:
“What would be my legacy if God were to call me today? What legacy would I leave as a testimony of my life?” It is a good question to ask ourselves. And thus we can prepare ourselves, because each one of us… none of us will remain “as a relic.” We must all go down this path.
(“Pope reflects on death at Mass at Casa Santa Marta”, Vatican News, Feb. 1, 2018; italics given.)
The Modernist pretend-pope concluded his reflection on death by noting that the end of life is also an “anticipated memory”:
Finally, the Pope said, “death is a memory,” an “anticipated memory” to reflect upon:
When I die, what would I like to have done in this decision that I must make today, in my way of living today? It is an anticipated memory that illuminates the “moment” of today, illuminating with the fact of death the decisions that I must make every day.
Knowing that we are on a journey that leads to death, Pope Francis concluded, “will make us treat everyone well.”
And there we have it: A “papal” reflection on death that says nothing supernatural whatsoever. This goes with his repeated assertions that the Last Judgment is not to be feared, a truly diabolical piece of “advice”!
We see here once more that Francis is concerned only with this temporal life, not with eternity. Even death itself he does not use to talk about our supernatural destiny and the fact that we will be judged immediately after we have died, to go either to Heaven or to hell.
And so Francis has managed to talk about one of the so-called “Four Last Things” (Death, Judgment, Heaven, Hell) without mentioning the other three. In his words there is no mention of soul, grace, original and mortal sin, judgment, purgatory, Heaven, hell, penance, conversion, faith, hope, or charity. Instead, he blathered on about a journey, a legacy, and something about memory. Perhaps these are his very own “Three Last Things”.
For those who might be wondering what a real Catholic sermon on death sounds like, we recommend the following:
- “The Sinner at Death” by St. Alphonsus Liguori
- “Time is now No More” by St. Alphonsus Liguori
- “Careful Preparation for Death” by Fr. Francis Hunolt
- Sermons on the Four Last Things (vol. 1) by Fr. Francis Hunolt
- “The Particular Judgment” by Bp. Donald Sanborn (audio, 1991)
- “The Particular Judgment” by Bp. Donald Sanborn (audio, 2002)
The best way to see the apostate Vatican II religion for what it is, is to exclusively immerse oneself in the true Roman Catholic religion as the world knew it from 33 AD until 1958. Having fed your soul on the timeless truths of the real Catholic faith, you will be appalled and disgusted with the Novus Ordo counterfeit. Most importantly, though, you will no longer be deceived by it.
Bergoglio is a Naturalist through and through. This was also very evident in the embarrassing “Ten Tips for Happiness” he gave in 2014, in which God did not even make so much as a cameo appearance. For Bergoglio, the supernatural, if it is admitted at all, is almost always placed at the service of the natural or at least given secondary importance. God is there to solve our problems, to make us feel good, and to forgive our sins. Jesus Christ is important only insofar as we see Him in the beggar, the unemployed, and the elderly. Even a sermon on death itself this “Pope” keeps entirely horizontal: Reflecting on death “will make us treat everyone well.” But then, since virtually everyone goes to Heaven, what is there to talk about but helping our neighbor and taking care of the environment?
Francis continually tempts men to keep their eyes fixed on the temporal, thus leading them into a great danger warned against by Christ in the parable of the sower: “And others there are who are sown among thorns: these are they that hear the word, and the cares of the world, and the deceitfulness of riches, and the lusts after other things entering in choke the word, and it is made fruitless” (Mk 4:18-19).
“Pope” Francis is not a true shepherd but a hireling “and he hath no care for the sheep” (Jn 10:13). St. Paul had warned us of people like him: “For such false apostles are deceitful workmen, transforming themselves into the apostles of Christ” (2 Cor 11:13).