We are grateful to a friend in the Resistance for bringing Fr. Groenings’ excellent work to our attention.
In the Preface, Fr Groenings writes: “This book is not, strictly speaking, a series of sermons or meditations of the sufferings of our Redeemer, but it is rather an explanation of the history of the Passion”. The author bypasses private revelations and relies strictly on the biblical account of the Passion and Death of Christ in order to bring to light the hidden meaning of the events of the Passion and to explain how the events apply to ourselves.
Considerations on the sufferings of the soul of Our Lord:
To us, indeed, who know so little of the supernatural, sin often appears in more subdued colors. We excuse it, we consider it a mere weakness, something natural, a result of youth and temperament. We fear at most the penalties of sin threatened by God’s anger. But the soul of Christ saw, clearly and distinctly, not only the entire series of sins, from the disobedience of our first parents down to the desolations of dooms-day, but also all the malice, all the abomination, the revolt, the contempt, the dark ingratitude contained in each and every sin.
Even when we recognize the wrong done to Almighty God by our sins, we take it little to heart, because we love Him so little. But the soul of Christ, which sought nothing more strenuously than the glory of His heavenly Father and which loved Him with an immeasurable love greater than that of all the Cherubim and Seraphim, felt most vividly the wrong inflicted on the Divine Majesty by sin. The sorrows of David over the injustices of the chosen people, the grief and indignation of Elias at the scandals and the idolatries of Israel, the tears of the prophet Jeremiah over the infidelities of Jerusalem were merely faint figures of the sadness of Jesus when He beheld the sins of the entire world.
And if this be true, we cannot shut out from our hearts another consideration. At the sight of our sins a God is seized with painful disquiet, and we remain calm. A God is sad over our sins, and we take pleasure therein. A God sweats blood for our sins, and we never shed a tear. We sin and, instead of hesitating and trembling, we think, perhaps, “I have sinned and what harm hath befallen me?” At the sight of our sins a God-Man writhes in agony, and we, perhaps, live on in a dreadful torpor which is an insult to the agony of Christ, in a false security, which, in a way, is more terrible than sin itself.
We, perhaps, shall slumber on in utter blindness until that hour in which the voice of the eternal Judge will awaken us. Oh, dreadful moment in which the Redeemer, now mute and patient in the Garden of Olives, burdened down with the mountain of our sins, will unsheathe before the sinner the flaming sword of vengeance! Oh, dreadful moment, in which the same Redeemer, who now sheds His blood for our sins, will demand of the sinner an account of the blood shed in vain! Oh, most dreadful moment, in which the heart, now tortured out of love for us, even unto death, will appear glowing with eternal wrath! (p 10-12)
Considerations on the importance of the place:
Let us consider first the circumstances of place. Christ began His Passion in a garden, more precisely, in an olive-garden.
When the Redeemer felt that the hour of His capture was drawing nigh, He left the Cenacle. He would not cause discomfort to the good man who had generously opened his house to Him for the institution of the Most Holy Sacrament. He wished to spare this friend all annoyance which might come to him, were the Lord to be seized in his house. He left the city altogether. Beyond its walls, in God’s open country, He decided to begin and to end His Passion, to show that He shed His blood not for Jerusalem alone, but for the entire world.
For the beginning of His Passion, He chose a wonderfully beautiful garden. How significant this choice was! In a garden the first Adam had committed the first sin, the sin of disobedience; therefore it was in a garden that the second Adam should say to His Father, “Not what I will, but what thou wilt.” In a garden Adam, by an abuse of liberty, had plunged the entire human race into the most shameful captivity; in a garden, therefore, by the bonds of Christ our fetters were to be broken. In a garden God had pronounced the death-penalty upon Adam; hence, in a garden Christ would take upon Himself this judgment and this curse. In a garden the human race was lost; and usually an object is sought where it was lost.
Christ had come into the world to lay out a garden wherein, amid splendor and abundance, there should thrive the violet of humility, the myrtle of mortification, the rose of love, the lily of virginal souls, the laurel of confessors and the palm of martyrs. It was necessary, then, that He should water and render fertile by His precious blood the soil of this garden.
The garden of Gethsemane was furthermore an olive garden, at least it contained quite a number of olive trees, and, according to several interpreters of Holy Writ, the oil for the use of the temple was obtained here. This circumstance, again, is full of significance. “Oil illumines,” says St. Bernard, “it nourishes and heals.” All these effects were to be produced by the blood of Christ in the Christian temple, and that in an infinitely greater degree than by the fruit of the olive-tree in the Jewish temple. For Christ is the great olive-tree, on which the heathen were grafted, according to St. Paul the Apostle. Now as the oil, before it could be used in divine service, had to be pressed forcibly from the fruit, so the blood of Christ also must be forced from His Sacred Body in His mighty agony. (p 14-16)
Considerations on the importance of time:
There remain the circumstances of time to be considered. It was towards eight o’clock in the evening when Christ set forth to begin His passion. … From nine until twelve o’clock at night, Christ was sad unto death. He trembled and quaked, He fell in agony, He shed a bloody sweat. What an awful contrast this picture of the suffering Saviour presents to the noisy carousals, frivolous dances, shameless ballets, secret meetings, lustful orgies which in exactly these hours of the night, defy the blood of Christ. At the sight of these abominations the heart of the God-Man would fain lose its strength and its courage: He trembled and shrank back in fear. (p 18)
(We have subdivided the original paragraphs to make reading easier. Sr C)
Source: The Passion of Jesus and Its Hidden Meaning, by Fr. James Groenings, S.J., Copyright 1900 by Joseph Gummersbach, Tan Books and Publishers, 6th Edition, 1987, 461 pages.
A parishioner penned the words below to indicate his frustration with the Catholic School System that he grew up with. He also notes that the problem that he identifies is present in the schools run by the NSSPX. Despite the warnings of a bishop and priests of the old SSPX, the NSSPX continues to make this same mistake. We will let our parishioner tell the rest, but first, one quick comment: I went to the high school that he identifies, ten years before him, and can agree that the observations that he recounts are accurate.
I keep hearing from the pulpit: “Get your children to learn a “trade” because “university” or “higher education” may make your children lose their faith”. Really?
In the old days, “Traditional Education”, including the Catholic School System, was where a young man would have a trade under his belt at 15, 16, 17, 18 years of age instead of wasting those precious years in a high school. Then, after 10 years, he would be a master tradesman like myself.
St Jerome’s High School set young men like myself up to “fail”; I’m glad I left after Grade 10 and went to a public school. I see the same thing happening in the NSSPX today. The NSSPX talks “big” about your kids learning a “trade”, but teaches them nothing of the sort. What does NSSPX know about trades? NOTHING ! They are “teachers” who have no clue and do not even know where to start to teach a trade – but I do!
As a licensed tool and die maker, and a machine builder tradesman serving an 8,000 hour apprenticeship, and who earned a 3-year Conestoga College diploma, with almost 30 years experience, I know how things work in the real world. What do the teachers of the NSSPX know about trades? Do they not realize it’s tradesmen like myself who “teach” apprentices, and not them? Where is the trade school for the 13 year olds?
Both my Catholic grandfathers in Germany learned a trade and then advanced to become pros in their fields.
My grandfather learned the blacksmithing trade from his father, as was the custom, then became a qualified Dentist with his own practice before WW2. After being injured on the front where he was an SS Officer, he then worked as a Surgeon for the remaining 4 years of WW2. He then died on the second last day of the war when the hospital he was working in was bombed – against international war regulations.
He lost his limbs and bled to death. This was a man who qualified to go to the Olympics for the decathlon before WW2 broke out, and here, he loses all his limbs – God’s Will. Note that as a doctor in Germany, you must make a discovery to become a qualified Doctor, and he did make a discovery concerning the properties of water.
My other grandfather worked for Klochner-Homblode-Deutz for 50 years, first as a machinist apprentice, a machinist tradesman, and then he became an engineer inventing something on the diesel engine that every diesel engine has to this day. These engineers, who have a trade under their belt, have over and over again proven to be the best engineers.
My father was also a tool and die maker, and a silver and gold smith. He had his trade papers at 16, and was a master at 26, and was laughed at when he told Canadian companies about his level of experience.
I have twin sisters. We were all born within one year. They also will tell you how poorly the Catholic Education System is set up – and they are both teachers.
So, if you are not “smart enough” or “interested enough” to go along with the way the NSSPX teaches kids, then what are the options available for these young men? They would do better to learn a “real trade” the “REAL TRADITIONAL WAY”, and not some pathetic, sloppy system that fails these young men.
At what age did Jesus Christ or St Joseph learn his trade? Well, it’s just like I explained:
I had shop class in Grades 7 and 8 (before they dropped shop classes). Where is the NSSPX shop class today? But then, everything just gets made by pushing a pencil, right? Someone needs to speak for these young men because I don’t see anyone else recognizing this huge problem.
No wonder so many young people leave the “Traditional Catholic Faith” when they see how they wasted so much time in a high school that was geared towards university when they could have learned a “real trade”. That is why they no longer take what is being taught in the Faith seriously, because they feel cheated. I too, was cheated, and I wonder why I still have the Faith. Maybe it’s so that I can share my understanding of how education should be “traditionally taught” and at the same time speak for the young men who have no idea, at their age, about what is going on.
The blind leading the blind. These teachers are so blind that they know nothing about trades or even where to begin. Consider what is required when building a cathedral. Do you have any idea of the level of difficulty, discipline and skill required to build a stone structure? Do you know how to combine the efforts of tradesmen such as masons, carpenters and steel workers (such as myself)? I don’t think so – it’s just for those dumb guys to figure out after they wasted all their time in high school!
Don’t ever preach to me about learning a trade unless you really know what you’re talking about, because we tradesmen listening in the pew can recognize that someone who talks like this has no idea what he is talking about – if they did, they would fully understand the protocol that they themselves do not have in place.
I had the highest marks in Industrial Arts, Sports and Religion at St. Jerome’s in Grade 9. I would like to know why the Catholic System prevented so many of us young men from learning a real trade like Jesus and Joseph did. And I would also like to know what the NSSPX intends to do about it.
The March 19th communiqué from Menzingen, although brief, teaches us a good number of things. Among others, there is a confession: namely that Bishop Williamson was expelled from the SSPX for his opposition to the rallying policy of Bishop Fellay.
Up until now, Menzingen spoke of disobedience: Bishop Williamson was undisciplined, a bad subordinate who does not obey orders. Now, Menzingen admits the real reason:
« the violent criticisms » of Bishop Williamson of Menzingen’s relations with Rome. The same goes for Bishop Faure. This is their fault.
The incident of the letter written by the three bishops to Bishop Fellay and his assistants was not very well received. Archbishop Lefebvre certainly had relations with Rome, but in the hope that Rome would correct itself and would come back. In fact, it was Archbishop Lefebvre who directed the negotiations with invincible certitude because his criterion was the Faith of All Times. Even so, he himself nearly fell into Rome’s trap. “I went too far”, he said.
On the other hand, with Bishop Fellay, things are handled very differently. It is not he who directs the negotiations. It is not he who has the strength to say to Rome : « It is I, the accused, who should judge you. » No, Bishop Fellay does not present himself as judging the errors of Rome. Rather, he presents himself as being guilty « of an irregular situation » and must fall into line and suffers because « his » Society does not follow him.
Let us digress for a moment. Are we judging Rome? Is that not the role of the superiors rather than of the inferiors? Of course. But it is the superiors who have already judged. It is Quanta Cura, Pascendi, Quas Primas, etc. that condemn the liberal popes. It is Rome, the Eternal Rome, that has already judged the neo-modernist and neo-Protestant Rome. That is what Bishop Fellay seems to want to forget and to make forgotten with his “concrete Church of today”. End of digression.
Bishop Williamson blocked Menzingen’s moves. He was a hindrance. Everyone knew it, but the General House gave another version. Now they admit it. « The violent
criticisms » of Bishop Williamson against Operation Suicide were the cause of his expulsion. It was time for Menzingen to say it. Now it is done.
However, Menzingen falsifies the matter by saying that these violent criticisms were about « all relations with the Roman authorities ». No. This is not true. They concern the rallying that would put the SSPX under the modernist and liberal yoke used by the devil to try to achieve what Carção called « the terminal sin » : to bring down the last bastions in an ultimate and monumental affront against God.
Under no circumstances will we support this effort. The devil will not achieve his goal because Our Lady is keeping watch: Ipsa conteret. This is our hope. It will not be in vain if we are faithful by the grace of God: Fidelis inveniatur.
Your Excellency, there are some who are asking what the reasons are that led to your consecration having been done with so much discretion. Wouldn’t it have been better to have given greater publicity to such a joyous event?
The consecration had to be done this way so as not to have been hindered. Bishop Williamson’s situation remains delicate. We chose this monastery because it is a little distant and provides certain measures of security. Moreover, there is adequate space here which makes it easy for liturgical ministers. Overall, there was a need to avoid any type of disturbance, and this was accomplished successfully.
Your Excellency, can you tell us anything about the signature of the 1988 protocol? Were you with Archbishop Lefebvre in those days?
I was not; instead, I was made aware of these facts just like any other member of the Society. On the 5th of May of 1988, Archbishop Lefebvre signed a protocol for an agreement with Rome, in which the pope recognized the right to consecrate one of the SSPX priests a bishop. At this time, it was considered to be something necessary in order for the work of Archbishop Lefebvre to survive after his death, but such a thing was also the bait and the hook to obtain the Archbishop’s signature. I think that when Archbishop Lefebvre signed this document he had a moment (temporary indeed) of weakness, as was the case with Saint Joan of Arc, and like her, he wrote, after the “worst night of his life”, a retraction letter to the Vatican representative, by which he nullified the protocol. Bishop Fellay cannot take advantage of this moment of weakness which was later retracted to say he is imitating Archbishop Lefebvre’s conduct. “I went too far”, Archbishop Lefebvre would say later, referring to the signature of the protocol. Archbishop Lefebvre had no illusion about the Roman diplomacy and the Roman interlocutors, as is demonstrated in many of his declarations and in the non-diplomatic determination that appears in the fundamental declaration of 1974 about the two Romes: the Eternal and the modernist, or the two churches: the Catholic and the conciliar. And Bishop Fellay, in the in which he confuses the current, official, modernist Rome with the Eternal Rome, he makes himself unfaithful to Eternal Rome, guardian of the Truth. He confounds the conciliar church – about which Arch. Lefebvre spoke so much – with the Catholic Church. For Bp. Fellay there is only one church and only one Rome: but this is the antithesis of Arch. Lefebvre’s position.
Your Excellency, recently we have been able to read many criticisms about yourself. For sure, the devil is not very happy with this consecration. What could you tell us about this?
What happens is that we intend to continue as much as possible the line of Arch. Lefebvre, and for this reason we receive attacks from the right and from the left, just like it happened to Arch. Lefebvre.
From the right and from the left?
Yes. On the left are those that are carrying out the integration of the SSPX into the conciliar church, and on the right are the sedevacantists. Sedevacantism is an excessive simplification of the situation (and sometimes it is not exempt of sentimentalism, even though this may be understandable) that was not accepted, on a prudential level and after a deep examination, by Arch. Lefebvre and by theologians and canonists of high level that he was able to consult. On this one must speak about the true grace of state in Arch. Lefebvre, who had to some degree the same role of Saint Athanasius against modernism. We have no doubt that Providence put him here to guide us in this crisis of the Church, that has only gotten worse after his death, but continues to be essentially the same. We cannot say that Francis has a greater responsibility than Paul VI or John Paul II for the development of the crisis that Arch. Lefebvre, Bp. De Castro Mayer, Fr. Calmel and so many other great theologians confronted.
On the other hand, Menzingen says that Your Excellency and Bp. Williamson recognize the Roman authorities “in a purely rhetorical manner”.
No more and no less than Arch. Lefebvre. Hence the sedevacantists also attack us, and in a very violent way.
Your Excellency, in your Masses do you pray for Pope Francis?
I follow Arch. Lefebvre’s instructions about this matter: pray for the pope and denounce his heresies, like Saint Athanasius and so many saints who had to oppose the popes of their times.
Concerning these liberal and modernist popes, and the question of the Catholic Church vs. the conciliar church, does Your Excellency agree with the position of the Dominicans of Avrillé, as exposed in the article titled: “One Hierarchy for two Churches”?
Let us continue with the theme of the pope. In the previews interview we asked Fr. Faure what would he do if Francis invited him to go to Vatican. And now we as Bp. Faure, what would you say to Francis?
Above all I say this interview is impossible in practice, since a sine qua non condition is the presence of Bp. Williamson and other priests, being excluded any type of “negotiation” with an agreement in view – whatever it is – while, as Arch. Lefebvre used to say, there is no radical conversion on the part of Rome, accepting, in fact and in right, all the encyclicals prior to the Vatican II, as also the condemnations against liberalism and modernism that they include; but this apparently will not happen before the third world war (that seems near). I would say to the pope:What Church do you belong to? To the Catholic Church or to a falsification of the Church?. Your function is to confirm your brothers in the Faith. I would remind him of the words of Saint Paul: your authority was given you “unto edification, and not unto destruction”. (2 Cor. 13, 10), to edify and not to destroy catholic faith and morals. I would say him the following, citing Arch. Lefebvre: Do you agree with all the great encyclicals prior to John XXII, and with all the popes till Pius XII, inclusive? Are you in “plain communion” with those popes and with their teachings? Do you accept the anti-modernist oath? Are you in favor of Our Lord Jesus Christ’s Social Kingdom? If you do not accept the doctrine of these predecessors of yours, it’s useless to talk to you. It is because we are faithful to the eternal Rome that we are obliged to separate ourselves from the modernist and liberal, current and official, Rome. It’s not because Menzingen lets to be seduced, that Bp. Williamson or I are going to fall in the same snare.
Coming back to the critics and lies about your person, some of them are extremely ridiculous. Therefore, pardon us this question that we make with the purpose to honor the truth and to protect some simple and excessively gullible souls: Can you tell us something about the circumstances around the burial of your father?
In March 3, 1986, my father’s body was taken to my home to hold a vigil. Thus he was placed upon my bed, and not upon the floor, as the sedevacantists claim. That they say the names of the witnesses! Personally, I can name Fr. Canale, SSPX, who celebrated the Requiem Mass, Fr. Ricardo Olmedo, SSPX, the seminary professors who knew the facts, the seminarians that today are priests, Fr. Schmidberger, SSPX, who was in the Mass and in the cemetery, and also the members of Mesuda family, who were great benefactors of the seminary when it began and who were present to the veiling ceremony. These ones lately sheltered, moved by mercy, twenty seminarians that got out of the seminary after the sedevacantist rebellion of 1989. My father is buried in the little cemetery of the Society. All the seminarians and many priests and faithful attended his mass. In this episode there was nothing abnormal and nothing to hide; but what we have here is an example of the sedevacantist logic to say Bp. Faure is Jew: I was born in Algeria; Jews are numerous in Algeria; therefore, “I must be a Jew”. But, as muslins are much more numerous, maybe I am a marrano muslim? Against all calumnies and inventions so ridicule, I have in France a well done the genealogical tree of my family that I will make public when I go back there.
And what can you tell us about the crisis of the Argentinian seminary, in 1989? They also blame you for this.
About the crisis in the Buenos Aires Seminary I clarify that I arrived in Mexico in September 24, 1985, five days after the terrible earthquake, soon after I was appointed Superior of the Mexico District, but this crisis took place in 1989, in the wake of the sedevacantist rebellion against Arch. Lefebvre. The rector, one professor and many priests of this tendency had influenced half of the seminarians of La Reja, that waited for the visit of Fr. Schidberger in 1989 to leave the seminary wholesale and get into a “seminary” made by a secular group in Mexico. A complete failure: a little group of them remained in an abandoned monastery near Cordoba, Argentina, and afterwards around Luján, and finally in El Bolsón (southern Argentina). Therefore, it is an evident lie that the supposed scandal of the burying of my father, that happened three years before, had provoked the immediate departure of these twenty five seminarians. Bp. Tissier writes about these facts in the biography of Arch. Lefebvre. (page 546, 2nd ed., Edi. Clovis, 2002).
In the middle of a sermon he chuckles as if his Guardian Angel has just reminded him of some humorous or ironic story or fact to relay to his flock. His love of his Faith is obvious. His love of Our Lord and His Mother is obvious. You can sense the heaviness he feels about the current crisis within the Church. Yet, he remains tireless. He is a Resistance priest. He is Father David Hewko.
We wish to offer our next Spiritual Bouquet for Father Hewko. Let us be generous and tireless as he.
We wish to offer him this bouquet on May 2nd, the feast of St. Athanasius; so, please forward the fruit of your tireless endeavors to Patricia at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org before Saturday, May 2nd.
INTERVIEW WITH BISHOP WILLIAMSON IMMEDIATELY AFTER THE CEREMONY OF THE CONSECRATION OF BISHOP FAURE
Did the priests support you regarding this consecration?
Yes, there was a group of priests from Latin America and the United States and elsewhere. There are priests that understand, they are not numerous, but they have courage; they have faith, and are determined to continue in the right direction.
What made you decide to perform the consecration at this moment?
Each day it became more reasonable with the threat of war, which is nearly upon us now, and has already been twice avoided with Syria and Ukraine, and the criminal West continues to provoke the Russians. The moment may arise when Putin will say enough is enough and decide to attack.
Your Excellency, already the voices have begun to cry out that say you and Bishop Faure are excommunicated, what can you tell us about that?
Truth is more important than authority. The authority exists to serve the Truth, and unfortunately, the Roman authorities abandon the Truth more and more each day thanks to the Council. So their punishment and censures have no force; they are meaningless.
What are the qualities of Bishop Faure that caused you to consider consecrating him a Bishop?
He is calm, experienced. He is older but a bit younger than me, 73. Also, he is intelligent and has the Faith. He also has the experience from the revolution because he fled Algeria in his youth. He lost everything because of this revolution and experienced the treachery of General De Gaulle, so he understands the modern world. Many of the young priests have almost no experience with the modern world or the Revolution, so they do not perfectly understand the evil. For example, Bishop Fellay does not understand at all what the temptations and dangers of Vatican II are or its effort to embrace the modern world. He does not understand it and neither do many of the other priests of the Society. They are too young, and Bishop Faure, is a veteran with experience enough to avoid this trap of ignorance of what the modern church, the modern world and everything else actually is.
The headquarters of Bishop Faure will be France. Will he continue to visit America as before?
This is what we expect to be the case, although events may decide otherwise. Bishop Faure’s heart is in Latin America, and he could possibly return to Latin America very often. That is most likely how it will be.
Your Excellency, will there be more consecrations?
It is quite possible. This time it was done very discreetly, but the next time there will be more than one consecration and it will be made public with plenty of time in advance.
Will the next consecrations be in Brazil?
No, it would probably have to be in Europe. Thank God that we have Brazil for this first consecration to take place, because it is far away from Europe and many of Europe’s problems. Now I’m no longer the only bishop and so the danger is not as great.
Do you expect a condemnation of this consecration from the Society?
I hope they do not because it would an evil, and I do not wish evil to the Society.
A Society priest has recently said that the Resistance is a group of dissidents with no future.
Of course, that’s also what they said about Archbishop Lefebvre. But things are not judged according to the positions of men; they are fallible and can easily be deceived.
Another accusation is that we are full of pride.
They also accused Archbishop Lefebvre of being full of pride. But defending the Truth and proclaiming that the Truth is above all men, that is not pride; it is humility. Above all there is an objective truth, moreover Our Lord as man says many times in the Gospel of St. John; “I have come not to do My will, but the will of My Father.” So then Our Lord as man is below something that is above Him. He is humble. And He said to the Pharisees: “If I spoke like you who do not know the Truth, I would be a liar.” If I retracted my statements, I would be a liar. If I retracted my claims, my requirements, it would be like revolting against the Father. The requirements, the absolute comes from the Father. For all of us, even Jesus Christ as man.