Another not-so-lazy Sunday around our house. I have been plodding through my copy of Windswept House. On the one hand I’m happy to say that, despite all the other goings-on around here, I’ve managed to reach almost 400 pages into this novel On the other, that means I still have about 250 to go. I may be up all night, folks.
Again, if you haven’t read this yet, pick up a copy and find a few days of free time. In the meantime, here’s a passage I read this evening that might help you understand why so many have glanced at Martin’s story and immediately grasped (especially as we going further into this nightmarish situation in the Church) exactly what we’re up against.
“Perhaps you’re too young to know this matter in the round” – the Cardinal smiled – “but at my age, I have come to realize that Council gave us a new ecclesiology. A new beginning. A new constitutional structure for the Church. One in which the power of Christ as head of the Church is suitably and harmoniously exercised by all its bishops, including the venerable Bishop of Rome. And you, Father Gladstone – even you, by your collaboration with this office – are helping mightily to enforce that new structure.”
I am more and more convinced – as if I wasn’t thoroughly convinced already – that the plots and machinations detailed by Fr. Malachi Martin in this book are being carried out today in haste. I believe he thought this would all happen to John Paul II; but he (JPII) somehow hung on to a natural death. I will say no more. Read the book. Thank me later.
I’ve decided to get a jump on my spiritual reading for Lent a few days early. About a year ago, two of my sisters had begun a little book club. When I think of book clubs I tend to think of middle-aged women drinking wine and sharing the Cliffs Notes version of whatever modern piece of garbage they supposedly “read”. These two took it in a different direction by starting Malachi Martin’s Windswept House. Somehow they knew this was my kind of reading. Sidenote: my eyes have always been bad. I went from 20/20 vision to nearsighted one day in fifth grade. It got progressively worse since then until about two or three years ago when it leveled off. I’m currently at +5.00 in my contacts (or is that -5.00? I can’t recall). Only now that I’m 45, I also have this curious prespiopic thing going on as well where I seem to need reading glasses but not really. So a 650 page novel with tiny print is just what the doctor didn’t order. Anyway, in short order they had sent me a copy of the book and I dove in. Unfortunately, life being what it is and this book being 650 pages, I made it to around page 180 before stopping a while back and I never picked it up again. Until tonight.
I have resolved to read 50 pages a day for the next ten days and be done with it. It really is a fascinating story. Martin was a fascinating storyteller. Just tonight, though, I came across a passage I want to share for your intellectual exercise and edification. The female protagonist, Cessi Gladstone, has sent her older son to a seminary in Spain at the direction of a priest who had been recommended to her by Archbishop LeFebvre. She wanted to insure he was properly formed as a priest. Her younger son, Paul, however, attended the minor seminary in New Orleans where he encountered all manner of post-conciliar evil. The following is his exit speech to the rector upon his decision to leave the seminary.
Boy, if only Martin had found a way to work in the phrase “sing a new church into being” he would have captured the essence of my own seminary training.
And like all spiritual reading, this has spurred me to prayer. I hope you will join me in praying for our priests. Even the poorly-formed priests and the mal-formed priests are still men configured to Christ Jesus. They alone can forgive our sins and offer the Sacrifice. We may never bring the majority of them back to their senses but we can pray for their souls.
Woke up this morning to learn of the death at age 94 of Angelo Cardinal Sodano. The cardinal was Secretary of State of the Vatican during the 1990’s. He it was who proffered the patently false third secret of Fatima. He it was who appeared in Malachi Martin’s Windswept House under the name Cardinal Graziani. And he it was who appeared at the seminary where I was a young seminarian at the turn of the century.
Let’s back up. In 2000 yours truly was entering second theology at a seminary (do a Google search) in New Jersey where my ordinary was a now-layman named Teddy McCarrick. None of us knew why the Vatican Secretary of State was visiting our humble abode. I’m sure McCarrick had some financial and immoral scheme at hand. I shook his hand and said hello and that’s about all I remember.
But when I think about it now I realize that these birds of a feather definitely flocked together. I also met the then-Vatican Nuncio to the US, Archbishop Gabriel Montalvo. You see, Teddy knew I was a smoker. Still am. Other than the state of my lungs, the reason that matters is that McCarrick abhorred smokers. He wouldn’t dream of coming near me. Thank God! Didn’t know it at the time. You know who did? The Blessed Mother. My own mom had asked me to pray a Memorare every day when I entered seminary. She said, “Mary will protect you.”
Boy was she right.
It’s a nasty habit but it kept me safe. There was one moment when Teddy approached me while I was on campus sucking down some nicotine. I was nervous because he had asked me to quit many times. This time, he came up to me almost with a pleading tone. “Do you have a light for the Nuncio?” Of course I did. The Nuncio was a smoker, as many Colombians are. McCarrick needed something from me.
Years later I wondered how deep all the ties went. How far did all the connections run? McCarrick knew them all. Montalvo. Sodano. You name it.
Blessed Mother kept me very safe with a few tar sticks. I love my mother (earthly and Blessed). But these men?
See my last post about drinking a gin and tonic and waiting for the end times.
Meanwhile, prayers for Sodano. The glory of the world passes. Judgment is eternal.
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