by Fr Richard Heilman | November 16, 2020 2:56 AM
On June 6, Archbishop Vigano’s translator emailed me a copy of the letter that had just been sent to President Donald Trump. In the email, the translator wrote:
“Fr. Heilman, thank you for your homily this morning. I help with translation work for Archbishop Vigano. His letter published today expresses a lot of the excellent points you made at Mass this morning.” (See the homily HERE)
That homily, Archbishop’s translator referred to, was given on the anniversary of the June 6th, 1944 D-Day Allied invasion of Normandy. I began the homily by quoting Vickie McKenna:
We are at war–not with a foreign enemy, but with fellow citizens who have been taught by years of education hollowed out by progressivism to reject God and despise this nation–and blame any and all failure on everything but themselves.
50 years of politicized education. 50 years of media propaganda. Almost 50 years rejecting the innate value of humanity through the promotion of abortion. 50 years of creeping socialism. 50 years of a demoralizing welfare state. 50 years tearing down the shared morality of our nation. 50 years of consumerism. 50 years of godlessness. 50 years of selfishness.
How could it have gone any other way under these circumstances?
We were finally weak enough and divided enough to succumb. First to the paralyzing shut down, now to the paralyzing fear of violence in our cities.
And people are STILL waiting around for the government to do something to fix it.
Archbishop Vigano’s, now famous, letter to the President which, by the way, President Trump tweeted out, pointed to what we see in today’s second reading:
But you, brothers and sisters, are not in darkness,
for that day to overtake you like a thief.
For all of you are children of the light
and children of the day.
We are not of the night or of darkness.
Therefore, let us not sleep as the rest do,
but let us stay alert and sober. (1 Thes. 5:4-6)
At a Parish Council meeting, this past Tuesday, I blurted out something that was completely off the cuff, but felt called to say. I told everyone there that I was so very grateful that they were all “tuned in.” Why did I say that?
At the time, I did not have Archbishop Vigano’s letter to the President in mind, but upon rereading it, I feel it goes a long way in expressing why I said that. Let me share the first two paragraphs:
In recent months we have been witnessing the formation of two opposing sides that I would call Biblical: the children of light and the children of darkness. The children of light constitute the most conspicuous part of humanity, while the children of darkness represent an absolute minority. And yet the former are the object of a sort of discrimination which places them in a situation of moral inferiority with respect to their adversaries, who often hold strategic positions in government, in politics, in the economy and in the media. In an apparently inexplicable way, the good are held hostage by the wicked and by those who help them either out of self-interest or fearfulness.
These two sides, which have a Biblical nature, follow the clear separation between the offspring of the Woman and the offspring of the Serpent. On the one hand there are those who, although they have a thousand defects and weaknesses, are motivated by the desire to do good, to be honest, to raise a family, to engage in work, to give prosperity to their homeland, to help the needy, and, in obedience to the Law of God, to merit the Kingdom of Heaven. On the other hand, there are those who serve themselves, who do not hold any moral principles, who want to demolish the family and the nation, exploit workers to make themselves unduly wealthy, foment internal divisions and wars, and accumulate power and money: for them the fallacious illusion of temporal well-being will one day – if they do not repent – yield to the terrible fate that awaits them, far from God, in eternal damnation.
You can read the full letter HERE.
Dietrich Bonhoeffer, the great German pastor, theologian, martyr, spy was asked in 1943 how it was possible for the Church to sit back and let Hitler seize absolute power. His firm answer: “It was the teaching of cheap grace.”
“Cheap grace is the preaching of forgiveness without requiring repentance, baptism without church discipline, communion without confession, absolution without personal confession. Cheap grace is grace without discipleship, grace without the cross, grace without Jesus Christ.” – Dietrich Bonhoeffer
We live in a time and culture that not only teaches cheap grace but praises it. This is why so many are NOT “tuned in.” They have not entered into the “Divine Life.” They remain “out in the darkness.”
St. Paul wrote:
The person without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God but considers them foolishness, and cannot understand them because they are discerned only through the Spirit (1 Cor. 2:14).
Archbishop Fulton J. Sheen put it this way:
“It is a characteristic of any decaying civilization that the great masses of the people are unaware of the tragedy. Humanity in a crisis is generally insensitive to the gravity of the times in which it lives. Men do not want to believe their own times are wicked, partly because they have no standard outside of themselves by which to measure their times. If there is no fixed concept of justice, how shall men know it is violated? Only those who live by faith really know what is happening in the world; the great masses without faith are unconscious of the destructive processes going on, because they have lost the vision of the heights from which they have fallen.”
Why did I tell my parish council, and now I say to all of you, that you are all “tuned in”? Because grace is anything but “cheap” to you. I have watched with eternal gratefulness as each and every one of you have, in essence, thrown yourself at the feet of Jesus and washed His feet with your tears and dried them with your hair.
You have torn through the veil into the Divine Life, and it has changed you. NOW, your “everything” is to please God out of sheer gratefulness.
YES! That means that striving to be the best version of yourself, filled with virtues and values and morals and ethics and principals, is the ONLY way you can live!!
You absolutely realize that you are powerless to do any of this without being filled to the brim – even overflowing – with God’s AMAZING GRACE!!
YOU. ARE. CHILDREN OF THE LIGHT!!
And, this we all know, full well … We cannot slumber!!
We must stay sober and alert!!
You are, now, a part of a “Movement of Light” rising up wherever souls have turned their lives completely over to God. As Children of Light, you are given a special illumination to, not only understand what pleases God, but to recognize the evil designs of the devil … you are “tuned in.”
This brings great responsibility: You must be VERY alert to all the ways the devil is trying to rip you and others from arms of our Lord; all the ways he is trying to “steal our grace” and set us out into the darkness, where he can easily “manipulate” us. We must stay sober and alert! We cannot slumber!
Please watch this sermon that speaks to the “Children of Light!”
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