Archbishop Viganò: Meditation in Preparation for Easter
Justin Haggerty | The Daily Knight
The text was written by Archbishop Carlo Maria Viganò, former Apostolic Nuncio to the United States, for Catholic Family News.
SI INIQUITATES OBSERVAVERIS, DOMINE: DOMINE, QUIS SUSTINEBIT? Ps 129:3
Mors et vita duello conflixere mirando.
Last year, with a decision as incomprehensible as it was wretched, for the first time in the Christian era, the Catholic hierarchy placed limitations on the celebration of Easter, following the mainstream narration of the pandemic. Many of the faithful, constrained by measures of confinement that were as demonstrably useless as they were counter-productive, were able to unite themselves spiritually to the Holy Sacrifice, assisting at the liturgical functions via computer. One year later, nothing has changed with respect to then, and we hear it repeated once again that we ought to prepare ourselves for a further lockdown in order to allow the population to be subjected to an experimental genetic serum, imposed by the pharmaceutical lobby despite their not knowing what long-term side effects there may be. In many nations they are beginning to ban their use, due to the suspicious deaths that are following inoculation; and yet, despite the pounding campaign of media terrorism, basic treatments show themselves to be effective and capable of drastically reducing the number of hospitalizations and, consequently, also the number of deaths.
As Catholics, we are called to understand the scope of how much, for more than a year, all of humanity has been forced to undergo in the name of an emergency that – according to the official data in hand – has caused a number of deaths that is no different from that of preceding years. We are called to understand, even before believing: because if the Lord has endowed us with an intelligence, He has done so in order for us to use it to recognize and judge the reality which surrounds us. In the act of Faith, the baptized person does not renounce his own rationality in an acritical fideism, but rather accepts what the Lord reveals to him, bowing before the authority of God, Who does not deceive us and Who is the Truth itself.
Our capacity to intus legere events preserves us, in the light of Grace, from going down the path of that sort of reckless irrationality which vice-versa those display who up until yesterday were celebrating science as the necessary antidote to “religious superstition,” and who today celebrate the self-styled “experts” as new priests of the pandemic, denying the most elementary principles of modern medicine. And if for the Christian a true plague is a salutary call to conversion and penance for the faults of individuals and of nations, for the initiates of the health religion a treatable flu syndrome is said to be the cry of Mother Earth violated by humanity – a step-mother Nature, to which many turn with the words of Leopardi: Why do you not later return that which you promised then? Do you deceive your children so much? We realize that the tribal cruelty, the primitive force like a planetary virus which would like to exterminate us, does not reside in Nature, of which the Creator is the admirable architect, but rather in an elite that is subservient to globalist ideology, which on the one hand wants to impose the tyranny of the New World Order, and on the other, in order to maintain power, generously rewards those who put themselves at its service. The rebels, those who resist, are conversely annihilated in their possessions, deprived of freedom, forced to undergo unreliable testings and ineffective vaccines in the name of a superior good which they must accept without any possibility of dissent or criticism.
A few days ago, a woman, believing that she would appear endowed with common sense, said that it is necessary to submit to the use of the mask and social distancing not only because of their effectiveness, but also to support our political leaders, in hope of a relaxation of the measures adopted so far: “If we put on the mask and get vaccinated, maybe they will stop it and let us live again,” she commented. In response to this observation, an elderly man responded that a Jewish person in Germany in the 1930s might have thought that wearing the Star of David sewn on his jacket would somehow satisfy Hitler’s delusions, avoiding far worse violations and saving himself from deportation. Faced with this calm objection, the woman who was speaking with him was shaken, understanding the disturbing similarity between the Nazi dictatorship and the pandemic madness of our own time; between the way in which tyranny could be imposed on millions of citizens by leveraging their fear, then as now. The citizens of Germany allowed themselves to be persuaded to obey, to not react against the violation of the rights of the German citizens whose only crime was that they were Jews, and themselves became informants about the “criminals” to the civil authority. And I ask myself: what difference is there between the denunciation of a neighbor who is hiding a Jewish family and the zealous reporting of those who have friends over to their house in violation of an unconstitutional provision that limits the freedom of citizens? In both instances, are the denouncers not respecting the law and observing the norms, while these same norms violate the rights of a part of the population that has been criminalized, yesterday on a racial basis and today on a health basis? Have we learned nothing from the horrors of the past?
The voice of the Church calls upon the Divine Majesty to remove “flagella tuae iracundiae, quae pro peccatis nostris meremur [the scourge of Your wrath, which we merit for our sins].” These scourges have been manifested in the course of History by wars, plagues, and famines; today they are manifested by the tyranny of globalism, capable of creating more victims than a world war and destroying national economies more than any earthquake could. We must understand that if the Lord should allow the creators of the Covid emergency to succeed, it will certainly be for our greater good. Because today the little that remains in our society that is still inspired by Christian civilization, and which up until yesterday we considered normal and taken for granted, is now forbidden: exercising our fundamental freedoms, going to church to pray, going out with our friends, having dinner with our loved ones, being able to open a shop or a restaurant and earn our living honestly, going to school or taking a trip.
If this pseudo-pandemic is a scourge, it is not difficult to understand what the sins are for which Heaven is punishing us: crimes, abortions, murders, homicides, divorces, violence, perversions, vices, thefts, deceptions, betrayals, lies, profanations, and cruelty. Both public sins as well as the sins of individuals. The sins of God’s enemies as well as the sins of His friends. The sins of lay people and the sins of clergy, of the lowly as well as the leaders, of the governed as well as those who govern, of the young as well as the old, of men as well as women.
They are mistaken who believe that the violation of our natural rights that we are undergoing has no supernatural significance, and that our share of responsibility in making ourselves complicit in what is happening is irrelevant. Jesus Christ is the Lord of History, and whoever would like to banish the Prince of Peace from the world that He created and redeemed with His Most Precious Blood does not want to accept the inexorable defeat of Satan, the eternal loser. And so, in a delirium that has all the features of hybris, his servants are moving as if the victory of evil was now certain, while in reality it is necessarily ephemeral and momentary. The nemesis that is being prepared for them will remind us of the people of Israel after the crossing of the Red Sea, and that Pharaoh could not have done anything if it were not permitted by God.
Christian Easter, the true Passover of which the Old Testament Passover was only a figure, is accomplished on Golgotha, on the blessed wood of the Cross. Jesus Christ is the perfect Altar, Priest, and Victim of that Sacrifice. The Agnus Dei, pointed out by the Forerunner on the banks of the Jordan, took upon Himself the sins of the world in order to offer Himself as a human and divine victim to the Father, restoring in His Blood the order violated by our first Parent. It is there, on Calvary, that the true Great Reset took place, thanks to which the inextinguishable debt of the children of Adam was cancelled by the infinite merits of the Passion of the Redeemer, ransoming us from the slavery of sin and death.
Without repenting of our sins, without the intention of amending our life and conforming it to the will of God, we cannot hope that the consequences of our sins, which offend the Divine Majesty and can be appeased only by penance, will disappear. Our Lord has shown us the royal way of the Cross: “Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, so you may follow in His footsteps” (1 Pt 2:21). Let us each take up our cross, denying ourselves and following the Divine Master. Let us draw near to Holy Easter with the knowledge that we are always beneath the gaze of the Lord: “You had gone astray like sheep, but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Guardian of your souls” (1 Pt 2:25). And let us remember that on the dies irae we will all certainly have Him as our Judge, but thanks to Baptism we have merited the right to recognize Him as Brother and Friend.
We ask the Supreme Judge, using the words of Sacred Scripture: “Discerne causam meam de gente non sancta, ab homine iniquo et doloso erue me [Distinguish my cause from the nation that is not holy, deliver me from the unjust and deceitful man].” To the Merciful Father Who in His Divine Son has made us heirs of eternal glory, we address with humility the words of David: “Amplius lava me ab iniquitate mea, et a peccato meo munda me [Wash me more and more from my iniquity, and cleanse me of my sin].” We ask the Consoler Spirit: “Da virtutis meritum, da salutis exitum, da perenne gaudium [Grant the reward of virtue, grant the deliverance of salvation, grant eternal joy].”
If we really want this so-called pandemic to collapse like a house of cards – as has always happened for far worse scourges, when the Lord decreed their end – let us remember to acknowledge to Him, and Him alone, that universal Lordship which we usurp each time we sin, refusing to obey His holy Law and thus making ourselves slaves of Satan. If we desire the peace of Christ, it is Christ Who must reign, and it is His Kingdom we must desire, beginning with ourselves, our family, our circle of friends and acquaintances, our religious community. Adveniat regnum tuum. If instead we allow the hateful tyranny of sin and rebellion against Christ to be established, the folly of Covid will be only the beginning of hell on earth.
Let us therefore prepare for Confession and Easter Communion with this spirit of reparation and expiation for our own sins as well as for those of our brothers, of the men of the Church, and of those who govern us. The true and holy “new Renaissance” to which we ought to aspire should be the life of Grace, friendship with God, and constancy with His Most Holy Mother and the Saints. The true “nothing will be as it was before” must be the one we say when we rise from the confessional with the resolve to sin no more, offering our heart to the Eucharistic King as a throne where He delights to dwell, consecrating our every action, thought, and breath to Him.
May these be our wishes for the coming Easter of the Resurrection, beneath the kindly gaze of Our Queen and Lady, Co-Redemptrix and Mediatrix of all Graces.
+ Carlo Maria Viganò, Archbishop
9 March 2021
In Christ Crucified and the Most Victorious Heart of Jesus.