Christ In Front Of Pontius Pilate by Henry Coller
Recently, I was attending an event where a young man with a baby in his arms approached me. “Are you Mark Mallett?” The young father went on to explain that, several years ago, he came across my writings. “They woke up me up,” he said. “I realized I had to get my life together and stay focused. Your writings have been helping me ever since.”
Those familiar with this website know that the writings here seem to dance between both encouragement and the “warning”; hope and reality; the need to stay grounded and yet focused, as a Great Storm begins to swirl around us. “Stay sober” Peter and Paul wrote. “Watch and pray” Our Lord said. But not in a spirit of morose. Not in spirit of fear, rather, joyful anticipation of all that God can and will do, no matter how dark the night becomes. I confess, it’s a real balancing act for somedays as I weigh which “word” is more important. In truth, I could often write you every day. The problem is that most of you have a difficult enough time keeping up as it is! That’s why I’m praying about re-introducing a short webcast format…. more on that later.
So, today was no different as I sat in front of my computer with several words on my mind: “Pontius Pilate… What is Truth?… Revolution… the Passion of the Church…” and so on. So I searched my own blog and found this writing of mine from 2010. It summarizes all of these thoughts together! So I have republished it today with a few comments here and there to update it. I send it in hopes that perhaps one more soul who is asleep will awaken.
First published December 2nd, 2010…
“WHAT is truth?” That was Pontius Pilate’s rhetorical response to Jesus’ words:
For this I was born and for this I came into the world, to testify to the truth. Everyone who belongs to the truth listens to my voice. (John 18:37)
Pilate’s question is the turning point, the hinge on which the door to Christ’s final Passion was to be opened. Until then, Pilate resisted handing Jesus over to death. But after Jesus identifies Himself as the source of truth, Pilate caves into the pressure, caves into relativism, and decides to leave the fate of Truth in the hands of the people. Yes, Pilate washes his hands of Truth itself.
If the body of Christ is to follow its Head into its own Passion— what the Catechism calls “a final trial that will shake the faith of many believers,” CCC 675 — then I believe we too will see the time when our persecutors will dismiss the natural moral law saying, “What is truth?”; a time when the world will also wash its hands of the “sacrament of truth,”CCC 776, 780 the Church herself.
Tell me brothers and sisters, has this not already begun?
TRUTH… UP FOR GRABS
The past four hundred years have marked the development of humanist philosophical structures and satanic ideologies that have laid a foundation for a new world order without God. cf. Living the Book of Revelation If the Church has laid the foundations of truth, then the dragon’s aim has been the process of laying a foundation of “anti-truth.” This is precisely the danger pointed out by the popes over the past century (see Why Aren’t the Popes Shouting?). They have warned that a human society not firmly rooted in truth risks becoming inhuman:
… ideological rejection of God and an atheism of indifference, oblivious to the Creator and at risk of becoming equally oblivious to human values, constitute some of the chief obstacles to development today. A humanism which excludes God is an inhuman humanism. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, n. 78
This inhumanism is being revealed today through a “culture of death” that is continually widening its jaws over not only
life, but freedom itself.
This struggle parallels the apocalyptic combat described in [Rev 11:19-12:1-6, 10 on the battle between” the woman clothed with the sun” and the “dragon”]. Death battles against Life: a “culture of death” seeks to impose itself on our desire to live, and live to the full… Vast sectors of society are confused about what is right and what is wrong, and are at the mercy of those with the power to “create” opinion and impose it on others. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, Cherry Creek State Park Homily, Denver, Colorado, 1993
It is the result, of course, of the same problem that plagued Pilate: spiritual blindness.
The sin of the century is the loss of the sense of sin. —POPE PIUS XII, Radio Address to the United States Catechetical Congress held in Boston; 26 Oct., 1946: AAS Discorsi e Radiomessaggi, VIII (1946), 288
The real tragedy unfolding is that the discarding of any sense of “right” or “wrong,” while giving a false sense of “freedom” to an individual to “do what feels good,” actually leads to an internal, if not external for of slavery.
Amen, amen, I say to you, everyone who commits sin is a slave of sin. (John 8:34)
The massive increase in addictions, psychological drug dependence, psychotic episodes, exponential increase in demonic possessions, and the general collapse in moral norms and civil interactions speak for themselves: truth matters. The cost of this present confusion can be counted in souls.
There is also something sinister which stems from the fact that freedom and tolerance are so often separated from truth. This is fuelled by the notion, widely held today, that there are no absolute truths to guide our lives. Relativism, by indiscriminately giving value to practically everything, has made “experience” all-important. Yet, experiences, detached from any consideration of what is good or true, can lead, not to genuine freedom, but to moral or intellectual confusion, to a lowering of standards, to a loss of self-respect, and even to despair. —POPE BENEDICT XVI, opening address at World Youth Day, 2008, Sydney, Australia
Nonetheless, the architects of this culture of death and their willing partners are actively seeking to persecute anyone or any institution that would uphold moral absolutes. Thus, a “dictatorship of relativism,” as Benedict XVI put it, is materializing in real-time. cf. Fake News, Real Revolution
REACHING CRITICAL MASS
Yet, there is a reality unfolding that is seemingly hidden from many eyes; others refuse to see it while still others simply deny it: the Church is entering a universal phase of persecution. It is being propelled in part by a Deluge of False Prophets who are casting doubt, both from within and without the Church, on not only the teachings of the Catholic faith but on the very existence of God.
In his book, The Godless Delusion-A Catholic Challenge to Modern Atheism, Catholic apologist Patrick Madrid and co-author Kenneth Hensley point out the real danger facing our generation as it pursues a path without the light of truth:
…the West has, for some time now, been sliding steadily down the escarpment of the Culture of Doubt toward the precipice of atheism, beyond which lies only the abyss of godlessness and all the horrors contained within it. Just consider notable modern mass-murdering atheists such as Stalin, Mao, Planned Parenthood, and Pol Pot (and some heavily influenced by atheism, such as Hitler). Worse yet, there are fewer and fewer “speed bumps” in our culture formidable enough to slow this descent into darkness. —The Godless Delusion-A Catholic Challenge to Modern Atheism, p. 14
Since that was written in 2010, countries around the world have continued to “legalize” everything from gay marriage to euthanasia to whatever trend-of-the-week gender ideologists seek to impose.
Perhaps Cardinal Ratzinger gave us a hint as to what the very last “speed bump” would be before the wholesale acceptance of a godless culture—or at least, a wholesale enforcement of one:
Abraham, the father of faith, is by his faith the rock that holds back chaos, the onrushing primordial flood of destruction, and thus sustains creation. Simon, the first to confess Jesus as the Christ… now becomes by virtue of his Abrahamic faith, which is renewed in Christ, the rock that stands against the impure tide of unbelief and its destruction of man. —Cardinal Joseph Ratzinger, (POPE BENEDICT XVI), Called to Communion, Understanding the Church Today, Adrian Walker, Tr., p. 55-56
It wasn’t until Jesus, the Good Shepherd was struck, that the sheep were scattered and the Passion of Our Lord began. It was Jesus who told Judas to go do what he must, resulting in the Lord’s arrest.cf. The Shaking of the Church So too, will the Holy Father draw a final line in the sand that will ultimately result in the terrestrial shepherd of the Church being struck, and the persecution of the faithful taken to the next level?
There is a purported prophecy from Pope Pius X (1903-14) who in 1909, in the midst of an audience with members of the Franciscan order, seemed to fall into a trance.
What I have seen is terrifying! Will I be the one, or will it be a successor? What is certain is that the Pope will leave Rome and, in leaving the Vatican, he will have to pass over the dead bodies of his priests!”
Later, shortly before his death, another vision allegedly came to him:
I have seen one of my successors, of the same name, who was fleeing over the bodies of his brethren. He will take refuge in some hiding place; but after a brief respite, he will die a cruel death. Respect for God has disappeared from human hearts. They wish to efface even God’s memory. This perversity is nothing less than the beginning of the last days of the world. —cf. ewtn.com
In a talk by Fr. Joseph Esper, he outlines the stages of persecution:
Experts agree that five stages of a coming persecution can be identified:
- The targeted group is stigmatized; its reputation is attacked, possibly by mocking it and rejecting its values.
- Then the group is marginalized, or pushed out of the mainstream of society, with deliberate efforts to limit and undo its influence.
- The third stage is to vilify the group, viciously attacking it and blaming it for many of society’s problems.
- Next, the group is criminalized, with increasing restrictions placed on its activities and eventually even its existence.
- The final stage is one of outright persecution.
Many commentators believe the United States is now in stage three, and moving into stage four. —www.stedwardonthelake.com
When I first posted this writing in 2010, an outright persecution of the Church seemed isolated to a few hotspots in the world like China and North Korea. But today, Christians are being violently driven from vast portions of the Middle East; freedom of speech is evaporating in the West and in social media and, on its heels, freedom of religion. In America, many there believed that President Donald Trump would return the country to its glory days. However, his presidency (and several populist movements around the globe) is fomenting if not cementing a great divide between nations, cities, and families. In fact, the pontificate of Francis is doing much the same within the Church. That is, Trump et al are perhaps unwittingly preparing the soil for a global revolution unlike anything we’ve ever seen. The collapse of the petro-dollar, a war in the East, a long overdue pandemic, food shortage, terrorist attack, or some other major crisis, could be enough to destabilize a world already teetering like a house of cards (see Seven Seals of Revolution).
Interesting it is that after Pontius Pilate posed that infamous question of “What is truth?”, the people chose not to embrace the Truth that would set them free, but a revolutionary:
They cried out again, “Not this one but Barabbas!” Now Barabbas was a revolutionary. (John 18:40)
The warnings from the popes and the appeals of Our Lady through her apparitions need little interpretation. Unless we, the creatures, embrace Jesus Christ, the Author of creation and Redeemer of mankind who came to “testify to the truth”, we risk falling into a godless revolution that will result in not only the Passion of the Church but unthinkable destruction by a godless “global force.” Such is the remarkable power of our “free will” to bring peace or death.
…without the guidance of charity in truth, this global force could cause unprecedented damage and create new divisions within the human family… humanity runs new risks of enslavement and manipulation… —POPE BENEDICT XVI, Encyclical, Caritas in Veritate, n.33, 26
If this all sounds too incredible, too much of an exaggeration, one need only turn on the news and watch the world coming apart at the seams in rather dramatic fashion. No, I’m not ignoring the good and often beautiful things that are happening. Signs of hope, like the buds of spring, are all around us. But we are also desensitized to the extent of evil that is tearing at the hem of humanity. Terrorism, massacres, school shootings, vitriol, rage.. we hardly flinch when we see these things. In reality, not only are the nations beginning to shake, but the Church herself. I am comforted, actually, that Our Lady has been preparing us for this time for so long, not to mention Our Lord Himself:
I have said all this to you to keep you from falling away… I have said these things to you, that when their hour comes you may remember that I told you of them. (John 16:1-4)
The Passion is always followed by the Resurrection. If we were born for these times, then we must each take our place in history within God’s designs and help pave the way for the future renewal of the Church and her own resurrection. In the meantime, I count each new day as a blessing. The time I spend beneath the rays of the sun with my wife, children, and grandchildren, and with you, my readers, are not days for gloom, but thanksgiving. Christ is Risen, alleluia! Truly, He is Risen!
So then, let us love and warn, exhort and encourage, correct and build-up, until perhaps, like Christ, the only answer we have left to give is the Silent Answer.
We must be prepared to undergo great trials in the not-too-distant future; trials that will require us to be ready to give up even our lives, and a total gift of self to Christ and for Christ. Through your prayers and mine, it is possible to alleviate this tribulation, but it is no longer possible to avert it, because it is only in this way that the Church can be effectively renewed. How many times, indeed, has the renewal of the Church been effected in blood? This time, again, it will not be otherwise. We must be strong, we must prepare ourselves, we must entrust ourselves to Christ and to His Mother, and we must be attentive, very attentive, to the prayer of the Rosary. —POPE JOHN PAUL II, interview with Catholics at Fulda, Germany, Nov. 1980; www.ewtn.com
Why are you sleeping? Get up and pray that you may not undergo the test. (Luke 22:46)
The more noteworthy of the prophecies bearing upon “latter times” seem to have one common end, to announce great calamities impending over mankind, the triumph of the Church, and the renovation of the world. —Catholic Encyclopedia, Prophecy, www.newadvent.org
Can an atheist be “good”? The Good Atheist
Atheism and science: A Painful Irony
Atheists attempt to prove God’s existence: Measuring God
God in creation: In All of Creation