I have been praying a lot lately using the book Deliverance Prayers for the Laity by Fr. Chad Ripperger. If you do not have a copy of this book, I highly recommend getting one – especially if you are a man with a wife and children. If you are unsure how to use it, there is a video posted by Sensus Fidelium wherein Steve Cunningham interviews Fr. Ripperger on this exact topic.
One of the themes that comes across very plainly to me is a theme that ought to be obvious and yet, thanks to the general collapse in the Church and in Western culture since the mid-20th century is simply not clear. That theme is this. Our Lord, the author of life, has endowed us men with the gift of common sense. In fact, in several of the deliverance prayers the specific request is made of Our Lord that He pour out his Precious Blood to “strengthen our common sense power”. My own take on this overlooking of common sense is that such an emphasis has been placed on the great good that is human reason, that the focus has fallen on our cogitative power in a way that completely ignores the common sense of each human being.
And what is this common sense exactly? In my own words, it is the grasping of truth through what the senses and our experience and reason can plainly know. In other words, it is the idea that what is right in front of one’s eyes might in fact be the reality of a given situation. So for instance, when the media report to us that the cost of eggs has either not risen that much or has only risen because of an avian flu that struck last year; the average man or woman (especially those who purchase eggs for their family regularly) are inclined to say, “That doesn’t sound right to me… I think I would have remembered hearing about a chicken cull due to illness.” When they tell you, “Elections are safe and never subject to corruption and Brandon is supreme overlord,” most of us would say, “Hmm… Nope.”
On that second point in particular I want to point out that it isn’t just a gut feeling. I grew up in New Jersey. I saw electoral corruption firsthand. I saw in the voter rolls on election day that several of my dead siblings were still eligible to vote. Couple that with the fact that we all know from firsthand experience that machines connected to the internet are absolutely subject to being manipulated. It doesn’t take a conspiracy theorist to know that things are not right.
But part of the problem (or maybe a symptom of?) the general loss of common sense – which itself is symptomatic of sin – is the lack of intellectual curiosity. People simply do not want to ask questions anymore. And I’m not just talking about deep, probing questions that only a well-versed expert in a certain field would think to ask. I was a reality TV producer. Believe me, the things people never ask about the content of what they watch on the idiot box is striking to me. I saw how the sausage is made. Most folks simply eat the sausage and are happy. We ought to be asking the how’s and why’s of this thing in front of us.
All of this got me to thinking about some questions that should be asked and it also reminded me of the late George Neumayr. First, do we accept his death as being caused by Malaria? I don’t know about you, but I do not accept this without any definitive proof which so far has not been provided. So many questions here… And I hope we get answers.
But think about George himself for a minute. The handful of times I interacted with him, I knew he was a man with incredible common sense. I feel that way about Ann Barnhardt as well. She has said, “I just ask the questions and say the things everyone else is thinking.” Yes, but sadly not everyone is thinking these things – their minds have been so dulled by the hammer of mortal sin and a degenerate society.
When George heard about Cardinal Tobin and the whole “Baby” situation, what did he do? Well, ultimately he went to Baltimore to the Bishop’s conference meeting, found Tobin in the lobby of the hotel, and straight up asked him the question. Is this man (Baby) living with you or not? My goodness, to everyone’s surprise, Tobin answered in the affirmative! He had a sense of what was what and he investigated.
This has lead me to ponder some other questions. These are questions I imagine George might have asked. Who knows, he may have been following up on these questions as recently as a few weeks ago while traveling through the Ivory Coast. They pertain to McCarrick and they are things I have wondered and for which I have never gotten satisfactory answers. In no particular order:
Was McCarrick actually laicized? George hinted in a December tweet that he was not sure of this fact. Where are the documents? They may exist but I cannot simply trust what has been put forth by most of the men running the show these days.
Why is McCarrick still living in Church property? It seems that Teddy is currently somewhere in Missouri or nearby environs residing with a religious order or in a Church run half-way house of sorts. But, you ask, he’s a “private citizen” at this point. So does the Church extend these kinds of living arrangements to other lay folk? Can I simply live out my final years in a monastery at no charge? What gives? If he’s not in the clerical state, why is he still treated as a cleric? There may be a perfectly acceptable answer to this but I’d love hear it before passing judgment.
What happened to McCarrick’s fortune? The Vatican accepted the testimony of James Grein to “laicize” McCarrick. Why not accept all of what Grein has to say, including the fact that McCarrick was conjuring demons through an exorcist and was a personal inheritor to a few mega-wealthy friends like Conrad Hilton? Where’s the cash?
Why are men known to have been favorites of McCarrick (“nephews”) still being selected for high ecclesial posts? See McElroy.
And for good measure let me add a few that I am personally aware of that have never passed the smell test.
Turks and Caicos. It’s a small British protectorate in the Caribbean. In the late 1990’s McCarrick, on behalf of the Archdiocese of Newark, assumed juridical control of the Catholic Church there. It is known to be a tax shelter. It is also known to be a place where at least one Newark priest was sent who may have had some “issues” and who may have avoided prosecution by being out of the States. Was McCarrick hiding money here? It may be nothing but it deserves a look.
What’s the Ivory Coast connection? I am so dumbfounded as to why George was there. But again, something just doesn’t seem right in light of what we have known about him.
Well, friends, will we ever find answers? George isn’t around to ask the questions anymore. God rest his soul. Who will pick up this mantle? And even if another gumshoe like him emerges (and I hope many do), should we ourselves stop asking the questions at least in our minds? No, friends, no.
It’s called common sense. We all have it. Strengthen yourself in prayers, Mass, and the sacraments. Then use it.
St. Timothy who’s feast is today, pray for us!
*St. Timothy was known to have a weak stomach and appeared to suffer from nervousness. St. Paul gave him encouragement. We also should pray for courage. Timothy died the glorious death of a martyr. We may not be far from his path.