In jubilatione

It is the day of the Ascension of Our Lord, or it is, wherever the day has not been transferred to the nearest Sunday, &c, &c. What was done to the Rogation Days preceding, the Vigil, and so forth, I really don’t want to know. That is something faithful Catholics must endure, in the Novus Ordo. (By obligation, I attend it when I have no other choice.) In one sense, this suffering is apt: the whole Church is doing penance, year-round, even in the Mass, for the horrible evils that we allowed to be done to her.

In the midst of which, we are called to be joyful. In our midst, the Holy Spirit remains, and Christ will not abandon His Church. I cannot doubt this, and so I do not.

This major Christian feast — solemnly observed through the centuries — is now treated as any other weekday commemoration, to be bounced whimsically around the Calendar. But it was hardly placed upon this Thursday, the fortieth day of Easter, the tenth before the Pentecost, so casually. It is pivotal within the Christian understanding of Christ’s mission, in relation to both. It is the day on which Our Lord took leave of us, returning to Heaven. Death had not sent Him away; death He had defeated.

This Ascent was in preparation for us: to sit at “the right hand of God,” which is where we must rise to be with Him. He waits for us; for those who are faithful. And in the interim, between His going and His return — as He promised, there has come, the Holy Spirit to abide with us. This happened, in time; it continues to happen, beyond time, and through it. The old liturgy receives, and also enacts, and also celebrates, and also explains — quite literally, and too, quite mystically.

Lex orandi, lex credendi.

I am feeling burnt out this morning, having already composed my fortnightly piece for Catholic Thing, which will appear tomorrow. It touches upon the Pew Poll, published a few days ago, about religious affiliations in the USA. It is extremely thorough: thirty-five thousand people were interviewed, and asked fairly telling questions. It makes the accelerated de-Christianization of North America very plain. In particular, in shows that “mainstream” Catholic observance is, currently, collapsing fastest. In seven years, the number of those identifying as Catholics has dropped by one-eighth. When we break this down into generations, we may see half of the rest will soon be gone, too, as the last generation which called itself “Christian” without thinking, has stopped not only thinking, but breathing, too.

For any worldly hope we must look to the remnant who thought their Catholicism through. I am in no doubt the small minority of “traditionalists” will prosper, regardless of persecutions that may be visited upon them, by a rapidly increasing non-Christian population that interprets Christian belief as an affront to “progress,” “science,” and its own degenerate mores.

Turn to the news, as I did after filing, and I see what is being done in Rome. Well, gentle reader could do this for himself; I recommend against it. I have not the energy, this morning, even to list the liberal-progressive bandwagons which the Holy See is now clambering aboard, in a vain display of very worldly sanctimony. In the midst of our crisis, this latest betrayal of our faith. And yet, Christ warned us: put not thy faith in men.

And yet, Christ Ascended, as our pledge, bidding us follow. In joy:

— Ascendit Deus in jubilatione, alleluia.

— Et Dominus in voce tubae, alleluia.