This Vortex is coming to you from our sixth annual Retreat at Sea off the Pacific coast where, beginning Friday evening, we started experiencing some rocky seas off the northern California and Oregon coastline, which sent a few folks scurrying below to reach for the motion sickness meds. Prior to that, the group had disembarked in San Francisco for the day. We had Mass at the recently reopened and renovated National Shrine of St. Francis — definitely worth the visit if you are ever in the City by the Bay during your travels. From there, we headed up to Napa Valley for a splendid afternoon, despite the rainy conditions at the Duncan family vineyard right in the heart of the valley where we enjoyed lunch and sampled some of the local crop — fermented of course.
Of course, the heart of the Retreat at Sea is prayer — the Rosary, Benediction, Liturgy of the Hours, and of course the highest form of prayer, daily Mass. Then there are the conferences, 10 in all, and the theme for this year's conferences was "The Glories of the Faith," chosen especially for Easter week. Along the way, we were hearing that a good number of people were simply unaware of some of what we were talking about either in the homilies or the conferences about various Church teachings, as well as for example, the Liturgy of the Hours. We heard what we hear quite a bit: "I've never heard any of this before."
So, we altered the schedule somewhat and had what was essentially a remedial session on the state of the Church and the vast changes that have occurred and become routine in the past 50 years and how those changes have severely altered Catholic self-identity. Quite a number of people were flat out amazed when we presented to them a brief history of how many Churchmen have tried behind the scenes to damage the faith of the people — how the Modernist heresy had made such inroads into the faith; how Catholic seminaries and universities had become hotbeds for theological revolution; how Catholic devotional life had dwindled down to barely a flicker. They had next to no idea about the changes in the liturgy that had opened the door for multiple abuses, all of which had combined to dummy down the glories of the Faith. All of this has gone on for so long now, multiple generations, that it has just become accepted as normal.
They had no idea — had never heard — that Vatican II had never called for the priest to face the people, to abandon Latin, to stand and receive Holy Communion in the hand, to get rid of the organ and sacred music and replace them with protestantized sappy songs played on guitar. They had been duped, all those years ago, by Churchmen who greatly desired to change the Church and Churchmen today, who desire to stamp out whatever last vestiges of traditional Catholicism they can find.
The funny thing, however, is that today it is traditional, authentic Catholicism that is on the ascent as this giant facade of phony Catholicism begins to crumble to pieces as is fitting. And we aren't talking about just the Latin Mass but more precisely about a better understanding and knowledge of the authentic faith. More and more Catholics are coming to understand that what they see each Sunday in their parishes is not the authentic faith but a cheap knock-off with only the barest essential elements of the Faith present. More are beginning to realize instinctively that they are not being fed, there is little to no reverence, the Mass is treated as more like a performance than the sacrifice that it is and most especially that they have been duped.
Even among the young, a movement is afoot. They are either leaving the Church of Nice because they have been completely blinded to the need for the holy in their lives or for those who are aware they too are leaving and finding that spiritual nourishment in parishes that do live and profess the authentic faith. In either case, because there are no young to speak of, the Church of Nice in just a few short years will be populated by nothing but aging hippy Catholics nearing death. In fact, in a large number of locales that is already the story. What few numbers of Catholics who have remained faithful are deserting the Church of Nice whenever possible and if not in body, certainly in spirit. They are turning to the internet to discover through various faithful Catholic sources that they have been lied to for generations.
Church Militant is blessed and grateful to be one of those sources exposing the great lie. One of the reasons we hold this Retreat at Sea each year is to give a little refuge to faithful Catholics and create an environment where like-minded Catholics can get together and find joy in each other's presence. What was even a surprise to us was that even here on the Retreat at Sea, there were so many who did not fully appreciate the amount of water the Barque of Peter had taken on these past 50 years. They were very grateful for discovering the truth of the matter, and as one retreatant said, it has been a life-changing experience.
Blessed be God. Coming to you from aboard the somewhat rocky sixth annual Retreat at Sea.