"And I beheld, and heard the voice of one eagle flying through the midst of heaven,
saying with a loud voice: Woe, woe, woe to the inhabitants of the earth....
[Apocalypse (Revelation) 8:13]

Saturday, May 19, 2018

Fr. Campbell, "Discerning the Spirits"

Discerning the Spirits

Fr. Campbell 


After Our Lord Jesus Christ ascended to the Father, the Apostles returned to the Cenacle, the Upper Room in Jerusalem in which they had celebrated the Last Supper with Our Lord. There they would pray until the coming of the Holy Ghost. We read in the Acts of the Apostles:


“All these with one mind continued steadfastly in prayer with the women and Mary, the mother of Jesus, and with his brethren… And when the days of Pentecost were drawing to a close, they were all together in one place. And suddenly there came a sound from heaven, as of a violent wind blowing, and it filled the whole house where they were sitting… And they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in foreign tongues, even as the Holy Spirit prompted them to speak” (Acts1:14;2:1,2,4).

At the same time many devout Jews were in Jerusalem for the observance of the Jewish Pentecost, which was celebrated fifty days after the Passover. But now there was a New Pentecost to be celebrated, fifty days after the Resurrection of the Lord. The Gospel was preached by the Church for the first time as Peter told his amazed hearers:

“Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins; and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For to you is the promise and to your children and to all who are far off, even to all whom the Lord our God calls to himself” (Acts 2:38,39). 

Through the grace of Pentecost the Church is fully equipped to preach the Gospel of Salvation to all the nations, fortified by the Holy Sacrifice of the Mass, the Sacraments, and the words of Holy Scripture. The Holy Spirit, soul of the Church, infuses His abundant gifts and charisms into the hearts of the faithful. He is the courage of the martyrs, the prayer of the saints, the faith of the confessors, the purity of virgins, the righteousness of fathers, the patience of mothers, the innocence of children, the wisdom of pastors and teachers. All that we need we have, through the great Gift of God, the Holy Ghost.

But in the mid-twentieth century, a modernist faction claiming to represent the Church came up with ANOTHER “New Pentecost,” which they called Vatican II. At the council, they claimed, the Holy Spirit gave a new illumination to the Church. What, were we for two thousand years in the dark?

What does the Church of Vatican II “see” with the aid of this “new illumination” provided by the Holy Spirit at the council? Well, that we can relax! Don’t get too excited about preaching the Gospel, since everyone is being saved, all following “different paths” which lead to the “common homeland.” And we can relax about sin. Original Sin has been wiped out by the Incarnation of the Son of God, so that we are all conceived without sin. We can also relax about judgment. If there is a Hell it’s only for the devil and the fallen angels. God is not judgmental. Or so they try to tell us. But this does not sound like the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of truth, Whom Jesus promised to send us from the Father:

“But I speak the truth to you; it is expedient for you that I depart. For if I do not go, the Advocate will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. And when he has come he will convict the world of sin, and of justice, and of judgment: of sin, because they do not believe in me; of justice, because I go to the Father, and you will see me no more; and of judgment, because the prince of this world has already been judged” (Jn.16:7-11).

Great things were expected as a result of the “reforms” of Vatican II. By now, the face of the earth should have been renewed by this “new pentecost.” But what actually happened? As Paul VI once remarked, the Church is “dismantling itself.” Scandals rock the Church. In diocese after diocese, parishes are being closed because contributions are dwindling and attendance has plunged dramatically. Europe, where Christ the King once reigned, has lapsed into a “silent apostasy.” We are witnessing the “Islamicization” of Europe. One writer comments:

“There is a new ‘dark continent’ – the land that used to be known as Christian Europe. Today, many of its cathedrals are simply large museum pieces. They are ‘artifacts of an ancient religion, and a dead faith’” (Dale Hurd, Is Europe the New ‘Dark Continent’?, cbn.com).

St. John tells us to “test the spirits”:

“Beloved, do not believe every spirit, but test the spirits to see whether they are of God; because many false prophets have gone forth into the world. By this is the Spirit of God known: every spirit that confesses that Jesus Christ has come in the flesh, is of God. And every spirit that severs Jesus, is not of God, but is of Antichrist… (1Jn.4:1-3).

Pope Pius XII tells us of the true Pentecost:

“If we examine closely this divine principle of life and power given by Christ, in so far as it constitutes the very source of every gift and created grace, we easily perceive that it is nothing else than the Holy Spirit, the Paraclete, who proceeds from the Father and the Son, and who is called in a special way the ‘Spirit of Christ’ or the ‘Spirit of the Son.’ …[A]fter Christ's glorification on the Cross, His Spirit is communicated to the Church in an abundant outpouring, so that she, and her individual members, may become daily more and more like to our Savior. It is the Spirit of Christ that has made us adopted sons of God in order that one day ‘we all beholding the glory of the Lord with open face may be transformed into the same image from glory to glory.’” (Pope Pius XII, Mystici Corporis Christi, June 29, 1943).

“Long for Christ, confess Christ, and believe in Christ. The Spirit will be added to the letter, and you will be saved. If you take away the Spirit the letter kills, and then what hope will remain? But the Spirit gives life.” (St. Augustine, Sermon 136, 5).