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Pentecost XII

✠ Father’s Corner ✠
Thank you to the few souls who attended Connie Kamphaus’ anniversary Requiem Mass on Wednesday. Gone for one full year, long time in grief, brief moment in eternity.

The final days of summer are at hand, and that means back to school. And that will also mean the return of our daily school Masses. St. Gertrude’s serves not only our parishioners in the Cincinnati area, but also our growing Internet congregation. Bishop Sanborn’s Queen of All Saints academy, which also has online students, has already begun its fall semester. Our schools do immensely valuable work both regarding the cultivation of good education, and the preservation of culture. And there can never be any education or culture, which profits the soul as well as brain, without the Catholic Faith.

Earlier this year I got news from Finland that the very first school I ever attended in my hometown has been closed. The school building, where I studied my first and second grade, also had my first ever library. Still, after all these years, I remember both the school and the library with fondness. I still know the names and stories of my favorite children and youth authors whose books I loved so much, Elina Karjalainen, Anni Polva, Jalmari Finne, and Aapeli from Finland, and Astrid Lindgren and Gösta Knutsson from Sweden. I often remained at the library for a long time after school, picking for myself a big pile of books to be read at home.

Both schools and libraries in Finland are in big trouble, because there are not many children left, and those who are, don’t have the patience to read anymore. The library in my former school had already for a long time worked with very limited availability, and will now disappear completely. The number of public libraries in my country is now about 700, while forty years ago it was over 1600. (In comparison, Ohio has 481 public libraries.)

I really enjoyed Fr. McGuire’s sermon on Sunday. It showed very well how digital progress is really digital slavery. My father is a video mechanic, and when he was a young worker in the 70’s and 80’s, the mechanical things like TVs, videos and home computers were designed to last for a long time. The designers wanted to serve the consumer by making products which the customers could trust to last and serve them well. Nowadays the computers and smartphones are more like status symbols, meant to be replaced fast. And also, they are designed in the way, that one really needs to buy a new gadget to replace the old one every two or three years, because it is easier and oftentimes cheaper to purchase a new one than update or fix the old one. Of course we cannot function today without computers, and only very few of us are determined enough to function without television and movie/entertainment industry. First there is created the desire, and then this desire is made the necessity; but, as I also learned from my father: “He’s not stupid who sells, but he who buys.”

The more people concentrate on the things of the world, the less they think about eternity. While visiting our St. Hugh church in Milwaukee during Assumption time, the Seminarians and I made a visit to see the old college and novitiate of the Assumption Franciscans in Burlington, Wisconsin. This old school complex and church as well as their land area is now for sale, because nobody is using it anymore. In the 60’s it had hundreds of young people studying there, and now the place is abandoned and decayed. It would cost about 30 to 40 million dollars to make the place usable again. This visit was a concrete showing of the failure of the Vatican II religion—and it truly is a different religion, not Catholicism. Vatican II is a failure but the modernization of man to think only of his earthly life, not God or his soul, has been a ravishing success.

In many ways, this tactic of the modernist is the same as those of the Communists. In the 50’s and 60’s the Communists tried to destroy Christianity through open persecution. They failed, so today they use a different system. There was a good article in The Guardian this January, which showed that the Communists do not anymore try to destroy religion, but regulate and control it. This plan is called “the thought reform,” and is meant to give the churches leaders who would be submissive to the state and also preach politically correct teaching. One of the tricks is to retranslate and annotate the Bible, to find commonalities with socialism. Sound familiar? Instead of open persecution, our enemy seeks to work within the church structures. Many are the souls who fall with this tactic.

But there is one thing which is made to last even further than a printed book, or 80’s electronics. It is the souls of the Catholic faithful. The Church, while she lasts here on earth, is not meant to be used for a while and then disposed, like an artisan “made in China,” but preserved faithfully within the Church and her Sacraments. As the priest says when he administers Holy Communion:
“May the Body of Our Lord Jesus Christ preserve thy soul to life everlasting. Amen.”

– Fr. Lehtoranta