Will God or man be the organizing principle of our lives and the source of all that we need?
It comes straight from Satan’s first temptation to man: “You will be like God, knowing good and evil” Gen 3:5.
St. Augustine’s The City of God tells us that the whole history of man is an everlasting battle between two cities, the City of God and the City of Man. Augustine’s preface begins, “The glorious city of God is my theme in this work, which you, my dearest son Marcellinus, suggested, and which is due to you by my promise. I have undertaken its defense against those who prefer their own gods to the Founder of this city.” He adds, “We must speak also of the earthly city, which, though it be mistress of the nations, is itself ruled by its lust of rule.” Fascinating that, as it is today, the City of Man has been ruled by its own lust for power during much, if not all, of salvation history. Holy men recognize Rabbi Yeshua’s supremacy. “Apart from me you can do nothing” Jn 15:5.
Pope Leo XIII, in Sapientiae Christianae, § 14, declared, “Christians are, moreover, born for combat, whereof the greater the vehemence, the more assured, God aiding, the triumph: ‘Have confidence; I have overcome the world’” Jn 16:33. We Catholics are born for combat! Rabbi Yeshua told us, “Behold, I have given you authority to tread upon serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy; and nothing shall hurt you” Lk 10:19. He meant the serpent Gen 3:1 that led our first parents astray, and all the serpents and scorpions, all the demons, that followed him out of heaven. And he meant by “nothing shall hurt you” that we will have the armor of God Eph 6:11 to protect our immortal souls.
Pope Leo XIII‘s Humanum genus ( HG, 1884) describes man’s attempts to build a society without God. It begins § 1, “The race of man, after its miserable fall from God, the Creator and the Giver of heavenly gifts, through the envy of the devil, separated into two diverse and opposite parts, of which the one steadfastly contends for truth and virtue, the other of those things which are contrary to virtue and to truth. The one is the kingdom of God on earth, namely, the true Church of Jesus Christ; and those who desire from their heart to be united with it, so as to gain salvation, must of necessity serve God and His only-begotten Son with their whole mind and with an entire will. The other is the kingdom of Satan, in whose possession and control are all whosoever follow the fatal example of their leader and of our first parents, those who refuse to obey the divine and eternal law, and who have many aims of their own in contempt of God, and many aims also against God.”
Leo’s original Latin for “truth and virtue” was veritate et virtute, truth and manhood, truth and fidelity to the truth. An interesting word, virtute. The Church Militant identifies the masculine virtues Eph 5:21–33 with its warrior priesthood, a masculine priesthood whose sword is fidelity to the truth. St. John Paul II confirmed in Ordinatio Sacerdotalis § 4 (Responsum) that priestly ordination is reserved to men alone.
At the same time, “It is not good that the man should be alone” Gen 2:18. God created woman ezer kenegdo, responsible for protecting the men in her life from their propensity to sin. Women’s strategies are different, but with the Blessed Virgin Mary as their model they can be extremely effective. Father Hardon declared, in his homily on Mary Magdalene on April 2, 1991,
The role of women over the centuries in the Church of God is to help men give themselves, as only a woman can, with their whole heart to the God who became man out of love for us. That, that is the real role of women: to inspire us men with selfless, extravagant—we men think it’s excessive—love for Jesus Christ so that we—more cold, more calculating—might be inspired to love our Lord not just with our whole head but with our whole heart.
Pope Leo XIII in Humanum genus § 31 identified the City of Man with Freemasonry. “Our predecessors have many times repeated, let no man think that he may for any reason whatsoever join the masonic sect, if he values his Catholic name and his eternal salvation as he ought to value them. Let no one be deceived by a pretense of honesty. It may seem to some that Freemasons demand nothing that is openly contrary to religion and morality; but, as the whole principle and object of the sect lies in what is vicious and criminal, to join with these men or in any way to help them cannot be lawful.”
When Adam and Woman were in the state of original justice, God was the organizing principle of their lives and the source of all that they needed. After Lucifer rebelled against God and fell from heaven Lk 10:18, he continued his war against God‘s image Gen 1:27 on earth by enticing our first parents to rebel against God: “You will be like God, knowing good and evil” Gen 3:5. Lucifer had fallen from paradise, and Adam and Woman fell from their paradise. Since then the war has continued on earth. Rabbi Yeshua declared it in his Sermon on the Mount § 1716, “Blessed are you when men revile you and persecute you and utter all kinds of evil against you falsely on my account” Mt 5:11.
Rabbi Yeshua told us, “Do you think that I have come to give peace on earth? No, I tell you, but rather division” Lk 12:51. The Catechism of the Catholic Church is no boring recitation of doctrines but an exciting battleground in the spiritual war. From its introduction, it has come under attack. Russell Shaw asked and answered, why American catechists don’t teach the catechism.
The war continues in our time between the Cross of Christ and the Swastika, a cross twisted and broken by an enraged demon. Already we see on the world stage two men, one intent on glorifying himself, the other intent on glorifying God. There are two ways of fighting it: Bishop Barron proposes loveas the Catholic‘s instrument of battle. The Cristeros fought with the blood of martyrs. The whole armor of God needs both Eph 6:13. It will continue until Rabbi Yeshua’s Second Coming.
The First Commandment
God’s First Commandment to man is: § 2084-2094 “You shall worship the Lord your God and Him only shall you serve” Ex 20:2–5. Rabbi Yeshua re-stated it: “You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, and with all your soul, and with all your mind” Mt 22:37.
Many Jews, Catholics and Protestants are only dimly aware of this war which has been going on since the beginning of time and will end at the end of time. Satan tries to conceal his existence. Anyone with military experience knows the most effective attacks are from cover. All Jews, Catholics and Protestants need to know Satan exists, and need to know his strategies. Rabbi Yeshua‘s forces follow him into battle, so we always, “Do whatever he tells you” Jn 2:5. We concentrate on Rabbi Yeshua. We focus all our attention on Rabbi Yeshua through the Church that he instituted to be his visible presence on earth. Second Exodus highlights the spiritual war to make it plainly visible to all Jews, Catholics and Protestants.
On Rabbi Yeshua‘s side are all who follow him through the Catholic Church, the divine institution he built to be the organizing principle of our lives, as well as others who through their own faith communities believe firmly that God is and should be the organizing principle of our lives and the source of all that we need. On the demonic side are all who oppose the Catholic Church in its teaching of divine law, for instance all who support abortion, opposing God’s Fifth Commandment, “You shall not kill” Ex 20:13. On matters limited to prudent judgment, opposition to a pope’s private opinion does not indicate demonic influence. However, when government follows a consistent pattern of opposing the Church, such as in efforts to regulate Christmas celebrations, demonic influence is likely.
In the spiritual war, Rabbi Paul reminds us, “We are not contending against flesh and blood, but against the principalities, against the powers, against the world rulers of this present darkness, against the spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places” Eph 6:12. Because most men are only dimly aware of spiritual war, many on Satan’s side honestly believe that they are doing good. This is why Rabbi Yeshua taught us, “Love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” Mt 5:44. He meant it. His first words on the Cross were, “Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do” Lk 23:34. “By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another” Jn 13:35.
Our Father had always taught us, his children, that He is our true king, the organizing principle of our lives and the source of all that we need. In the desert He made war against Pharaoh’s army Ex 14:28 and gave Israel manna Ex 16:31 for forty years Ex 16:35. But when the Philistines loomed as a major threat, around 1030 BC, Israel asked instead for an earthly king. “Give us a king to govern us” 1 Sam 8:6. God had called Israel to be a people apart Deut 7:2, but the people wanted to be like all the tribes around them. Our Father told Samuel, “They have rejected me from being king over them” 1 Sam 8:7.
God, who lives in eternity, does not change Mal 3:6. He still wills to provide all the government we need Mt 23:37. Rabbi Yeshua asked the scribes and the chief priests, the government in their time, whose likeness and description were on Caesar’s coins, and they replied, “Caesar’s.” Rabbi Yeshua replied, “Then render to Caesar the things that are Caesar’s, and to God the things that are God’s” Lk 20:25. Our immortal souls are God’s image and likeness Gen 1:27 so we are to give them to God. His emphasis has always been on the spiritual realm, preparing our souls for eternal life with him. The temporal realm, including coins, could be given to governments Mt 17:27.
St. John Paul II explained in Evangelium Vitae, § 71, “The real purpose of civil law is to guarantee an ordered social coexistence in true justice, so that all may lead a quiet and peaceable life, godly and respectful in every way” 1 Tim 2:2. In our time governments have become necessary to ordered society. They derive their true authority from God because their true purpose is to maintain an environment conducive to worshiping God. However, when governments become disordered they act without legitimate authority. When they lie and murder they represent Satan Jn 8:44. Many governments in our time give their own citizens a private franchise to kill one another for abortion and euthanasia. Once a private franchise to kill is widely accepted within the population, there is no way to anticipate who will be next. In Nazi Germany, Cardinal von Galen, on August 3, 1941, boldly declared:
Once admit the right to kill unproductive persons … then none of us can be sure of his life. We shall be at the mercy of any committee that can put a man on the list of unproductives. There will be no police protection, no court to avenge the murder and inflict punishment upon the murderer. Who can have confidence in any doctor? He has but to certify his patients as unproductive and he receives the command to kill. If this dreadful doctrine is permitted and practiced it is impossible to conjure up the degradation to which it will lead. Suspicion and distrust will be sown within the family itself. A curse on men and on the German people if we break the holy commandment “Thou shalt not kill” which was given us by God on Mount Sinai with thunder and lightning, and which God our Maker imprinted on the human conscience from the beginning of time! Woe to us German people if we not only license this heinous offense but allow it to be committed with impunity! When a man refuses to worship God, the depths of his heart yearn to worship something, often himself.
Satan’s theme has always been to tempt men to try to be like God. “You will be like God, knowing good and evil” Gen 3:5. He incited the Virgin Queen to replace the Virgin Mary, Queen of Heaven, as the great dispenser of mercy. Henry VIII and Queen Elizabeth both made the church an arm of the state.