Monday, September 22, 2014

Conversion in Reverse

Book review of Dr. Thomas Droleskey's Conversion in Reverse: How the Ethos of Americanism Converted Catholics (volume 1).
     This is a thorough and brilliant survey of Christianity from its beginnings, through the Middle Ages, and up to and including the Protestant Revolution in Europe against the Roman Catholic Church. But its primary thesis is to show how Protestantism in the American Colonies and in the nascent United States adversely affected the way Catholics viewed and practiced their own religion in the new nation. In order to survive in a pluralist society as the minority religion, American Catholics learned that practicing a "private" non-confrontational, non-proselytizing faith allowed them gain acceptance and to prosper economically. They began to assume as valid the false idea of separation of Church and State, and a religious freedom based on the concept that the Catholic Church is just one of many co-existing religions, rather than the one true religion founded by Jesus Christ. Thus, they rejected or neglected the doctrine of the Social Kingship of Christ, whereby the Church as the mystical body of Christ, must nourish and guide governmental institutions according to gospel and Church teaching. This is essentially the heresy of "Americanism," condemned in particular by Pope Leo XIII.
     So instead of Catholics converting Protestant Americans, they converted Catholics to their pluralism, hence the title of the book. A secondary and underlying thesis is the author's rejection of Vatican II, and that modernist Vatican II Catholicism is not true Roman Catholicism. Though many of the topics dealt with are complex, the author's writing and presentation are straightforward, making the book a pleasant and even easy read. Excerpts from primary sources and Papal writings are frequently quoted, to prove and document Droleskey's points. This 300 page book is printed on 8 1/2 by 11 inch paper, which would be the equivalent to a 500 page standard book.

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"Walk cheerfully!" Practical advice from St. Padre Pio.

Almost everyone knows that "pray, hope, and don't worry" is attributed to St. Pio, but some of his other spiritual gems are not so well known:

Duty before everything else, even something holy.

Whenever necessary you must look without seeing, and see without thinking about it.

If Jesus reveals Himself, thank Him; if He hides Himself thank Him also.  All is a pleasantry of His love.

Always do a little work.  Work, therefore, and though you keep on advancing slowly, you will nevertheless go a long way.

When there is not time for both, meditation is to be preferred to vocal prayer, because it is more fruitful.

Despise your temptations and do not dwell on them.

Ahead! Courage!  In the spiritual life he who does not advance goes backward. 

Don't draw back, and worse still, don't stop going up the Calvary of life.  Jesus will extend His hand to steady you.

Walk in the way of the Lord with simplicity and do not torment your spirit.

Only one thing is necessary: to lift up your spirit and love God.

The time best spent is that which is spent for the glory of God and the salvation of souls.

Often kiss Jesus with affection and you will recompense Him for the sacrilegious kiss of the unfaithful Apostle, Judas.

The devil is like a rabid dog tied to a chain; beyond the length of the chain he cannot seize anyone.  And you, keep at a distance. 

That which proceeds from God begins with a salutary fear and finishes with peace of mind.  That which comes from Satan begins with calmness and ends in storm, indifference and apathy.

If you want to assist at Mass with devotion and with fruit, think of the Sorrowful Mother at the feet of Calvary.

Let us bind ourselves rightly to the  Sorrowful Heart of our heavenly Mother and reflect on its boundless grief and how precious is our soul.

Be firm in your resolutions; stay in the ship in which I placed you and let the storm come.  Long live Jesus! You will not perish.

Walk amid wind and waves, but with Jesus.  If fear strongly grips you, exclaim with St. Peter: "O Lord, save me!"  He will extend His hand to you.  Seize it firmly and walk cheerfully.

All of the above are from the booklet "Padre Pio Counsels," edited by Fr. Alessio Parente.

For more about St. Padre Pio visit