Hey, it’s the Church of Joy, right?!
For Year’s End, a little Novus Ordo Humor…
What was a very burdensome and challenging year for many has come to an end. God permits evil for our sanctification, so there is no cause to be less grateful for 2020 than for any other year. In fact, we ought to be even more grateful because all adversity is an opportunity for the practice of virtue; it is a chance to demonstrate — if only to ourselves — that we truly love Christ:
And whosoever doth not carry his cross and come after me, cannot be my disciple. (Lk 14:27)
For whom the Lord loveth, he chastiseth; and he scourgeth every son whom he receiveth. (Heb 12:6)
For I reckon that the sufferings of this time are not worthy to be compared with the glory to come, that shall be revealed in us. (Rom 8:18)
At the same time, it is also legitimate to enjoy a little bit of wholesome humor and lighthearted banter now and again. In fact, it is important to do so, lest the struggles, pains, and disappointments of life overwhelm us. To that end, even the Vatican II “Church of Joy” can contribute, however unwittingly.
The following video clip shows what is perhaps one of the funniest mishaps you will ever see. It is only 20 seconds long, and no words are necessary:
For those who cannot play the video for one reason or another, here is what it shows: An elderly Novus Ordo bishop speaks to the crowd using a standard microphone. As he finishes, he wants to sprinkle everyone with holy water and mistakes the microphone for the aspergillum, that is, the sprinkling device used to dispense holy water. As he tries to dip the mic into the holy water bucket, there is audible feedback, and one of his assistants takes it away from him and gives him the real aspergillum. The cleric realizes his mistake, smiles, and proceeds normally. The clip also includes a humorous German voice-over. The speaker says: “Father Bacterius is simply too old for the technology… of the 1930s.”
Whatever the new year may bring, there will be plenty of opportunity for each one of us “with fear and trembling [to] work out your salvation” (Phil 2:12). Suffering, if it is embraced in the right supernatural spirit, is the road that leads to Heaven. If we want to rise with Christ to eternal happiness, we must also make His sorrowful way to Calvary our own. There is no Resurrection without the Cross.
Fr. Edward Leen’s 1938 book Why the Cross? cannot be recommended highly enough for a thorough and intellectually and spiritually satisfying understanding of the love God shows us by permitting us to share in His Cross: “Who now rejoice in my sufferings for you, and fill up those things that are wanting of the sufferings of Christ, in my flesh, for his body, which is the church” (Col 1:24). Fr. Leen’s book can be borrowed digitally for free here.
The orthodox Catholic position on suffering and evil is crucial not only for the health of our own souls but also to counter the Naturalist greeting-card spirituality promoted by the leader of the Vatican II Sect, which has no substantial answer to the problem of suffering, especially not the suffering of little children: “One man who has been a life mentor for me is Dostoevskij and his explicit and implicit question ‘Why do children suffer?’ has always gone round in my heart. There is no explanation”, Antipope Francis declared in one of his first interviews, seven years ago. About 13 months later, he scandalized the entire world when, while visiting the Philippines, he repeated it in response to a girl who asked him this “question for which there is no answer”.
What has no answer is Francis’ Naturalism. Only the true Gospel, which is supernatural, can answer it. More information about this important topic can be found here:
May God grant that 2021 may be a year which sees more souls being converted to Him and His holy Catholic Church, the only Ark of Salvation. And may those who are already converted, become more fervent in their love of God and neighbor, and increase in devotion and zeal for His glory.
Image source: composite with elements from shutterstock.com