Summary and Conclusion of Essay:
To resist the present regime of novelty and remain a faithful Catholic is to take on a heavy burden.  It was hard enough for me to strain and break relationships with Protestant family and friends after being given the grace to convert to the True Faith.  It is harder yet to strain and break more relationships in my new Catholic spiritual family after coming to unpopular conclusions about how this family is being fathered.

The difficulties involved in any transition such as David Palm (DP) notes above are ones which cannot help but stir up sympathy in anyone who genuinely cares about people. The only point this writer would take issue with is the idea of "resisting" the magisterium's teachings and directives. David claims to be a "traditionalist" yet he does not it seems realize how novel his stance really is. To quote from Pope Pius IX's Encyclical Letter Quanta Cura on the matter of "resisting" the authority of the magisterium:

[We cannot] pass over in silence the audacity of those who, not enduring sound doctrine, contend that "without sin and without any sacrifice of the Catholic profession assent and obedience may be refused to those judgments and decrees of the Apostolic See, whose object is declared to concern the Church's general good and her rights and discipline, so only it does not touch the dogmata of faith and morals." But no one can be found not clearly and distinctly to see and understand how grievously this is opposed to the Catholic dogma of the full power given from God by Christ our Lord Himself to the Roman Pontiff of feeding, ruling and guiding the Universal Church. [1]

This in a nutshell is why the very notion of "suspending obedience" to the magisterium -as DP's allies claim to do- or railing against the pope's initiatives such as the Assisi interfaith gatherings is not a minor bagatelle. Notice that Pope Pius IX of blessed memory does not say that only matters of faith and morals are what is binding (i.e. "the dogmata of faith and morals.") Nor is it simply a matter of teachings and directives -with the latter encompassing the discipline and government of the Church. No, there is a third area too which requires obedience and that is with regards to the general good of the Church and the Holy Father's authority to guide the Universal Church by setting the tone for what is right and proper in a given epoch of history. Those who do not render obedience in this area are opposed to the dogma of papal primacy as are those who who reject the Church's disciplines or her governing authority.  And to be opposed to a dogma of faith is to be "proximate to heresy." It is that simple really.

It is agonizing to live amidst a diseased and dying flock and watch while the shepherds continue to prescribe more and more of the very “medicine” that made the flock so desperately ill in the first place. 

This writer in reading the above comments is reminded of the spiritual instruction of St. Francis de Sales:

Everything looks yellow to a man that has the jaundice; and it is said that the only cure is through the soles of the feet. Most assuredly the sin of rash judgments is a spiritual jaundice, which makes everything look amiss to those who have it; and he who would be cured of this malady must not be content with applying remedies to his eyes or his intellect, he must attack it through the affections, which are as the soul's feet. [2]

The reader should not be surprised in light of everything covered in this essay that there is a degree of "spiritual jaundice" in David's outlook. It is extremely difficult to be a self-styled "traditionalist" and not have some degree of this malady. It calls for patience and understanding on the part of others despite the fact that many self-styled "traditionalists" -particularly the apologist types- do not have an attitude that is conducive to gaining the sympathies of others. David though in the opinion of this writer is not cut from the same mould as so many of the aforesaid "apologists." If he was, then this present writer would never have spent the time to interact with the latter's essay.

To be triply marginalized—first as a Christian in a pagan culture, then as an orthodox Catholic in a Church awash in heretics, then as a traditionalist amidst the ooing and ahing of neo-Catholics about the “greatness” and “brilliance” of the present regime—is wearisome. 

Of course to continually confute the kind of griping that comes from the corner of those who call themselves "traditionalists" is no small strain either.

And it is no fun to be a pariah in one's own Church, the very place that was supposed to be home. 

Agreed. But no one is forcing DP to remain a pariah.

In terms of “creature comforts”, traditionalism doesn't have a lot to commend itself. 

But it does have the "sensual sweetness" of apparent liturgical sanity and that is a powerful lure -particularly in dioceses where the liturgical celebrations can often leave a lot to be desired. And of course there are many self-styled "traditionalists" who are quite insistent to have mass their way or else they will throw a fit about it. St. John of the Cross spoke of such people in his masterpiece Dark Night of the Soul -a rather novel approach to mysticism in the sixteenth century:

You will find that many of these persons [spiritual gluttons] are very insistent with their spiritual masters to be granted that which they desire, extracting it from them almost by force; if they be refused it they become as peevish as children and go about in great displeasure, thinking that they are not serving God when they are not allowed to do that which they would. For they go about clinging to their own will and pleasure, which they treat as though it came from God; and immediately their directors take it from them, and try to subject them to the will of God, they become peevish, faint-hearted, and fall away. These persons think that their own satisfaction and pleasure are the satisfaction and service of God…

These persons who are thus inclined to such pleasures have another great imperfection, which is that they are very weak and remiss in journeying upon the hard road of the Cross; for the soul that is given to sweetness naturally has its face set against all self-denial, which is devoid  of sweetness…[3]

The problem with self-styled "traditionalism" is that it is anything but Traditional. It is a great facade if you will of authentic Catholicism. It is in a nutshell akin to that of the rich man who kept all the commandments but was unable to part with his great possessions to gain treasure in heaven (Matt. xix,16-22; Mark x,17-22; Luke xviii,18-23). There is a lack of consolations in classical Catholic spirituality precisely because it is intended to wean the soul from the attachments of the sort that David and his allies continually repine for and promote. St. John of the Cross referred to the first stages of the spiritual journey as follows:

"On a dark night, Kindled in love with yearnings--oh, happy chance!-- I went forth without being observed, My house being now at rest."

IN this first stanza the soul relates the way and manner which it followed in going forth, as to its affection, from itself and from all things, and in dying to them all and to itself, by means of true mortification, in order to attain to living the sweet and delectable life of love with God; and it says that this going forth from itself and from all things was a 'dark night,' by which, as will be explained hereafter, is here understood purgative contemplation, which causes passively in the soul the negation of itself and of all things referred to above.

And this going forth it says here that it was able to accomplish in the strength and ardour which love for its Spouse gave to it for that purpose in the dark contemplation aforementioned. Herein it extols the great happiness which it found in journeying to God through this night with such signal success that none of the three enemies, which are world, devil and flesh (who are they that ever impede this road), could hinder it; inasmuch as the aforementioned night of purgative contemplation lulled to sleep and mortified, in the house of its sensuality, all the passions and desires with respect to their mischievous desires and motions. [4]

Essentially, we are not supposed to rebel but instead endure the dark night and be purged in these areas of sensuality. This is why the foundational premise of the so-called "traditional" movement is not grounded in an authentic Catholic spirituality. Or to quote Pope Paul VI from his dialogues with Jean Guitton:

In the spiritual life, as one ascends higher, the soul as it climbs upward goes through a period of disarray. It sees the old synthesis which it has criticized, which it had to undo, to take apart; it does not yet see the superior synthesis to which it must attain.

In every growth, in every mutation upward, everytime, as St. Paul said, when one is stripped of one's habitual garment in order to be clothed anew, there is a moment of nakedness, of disarray--which an ill wind makes use of, in which the devil insinuates himself. This undoing is in itself a good. It is the undoing of something growing. If the rosebud were to see itself in the spring, would it not feel that it was undone when it was about to flower? [5]

That is the essence of progress in the Catholic spiritual tradition. The readers can note well the context of David's essay and the work of those he is defending (all of whom claim to be "traditional") that these are concepts that are lost on them.

But ultimately I think the case is made well and cogently that we are indeed living in a regime of novelty within the Roman Catholic Church, and that this profusion of novelty threatens to harm my family’s faith.  And that reality makes bearing the burden of traditionalism an imperative.

Of course St. John of the Cross would read the above lines from DP and respond in a manner akin to the following:

And many of these would have God will that which they themselves will, and are fretful at having to will that which He wills, and find it repugnant to accommodate their will to that of God. Hence it happens to them that oftentimes they think that therein they find not their own will and pleasure is not he will of God; and that on the other hand, when they themselves find satisfaction, God is satisfied. Thus they measure themselves by God acting quite contrary to that which He Himself taught in the Gospel, saying: That he who should lose his will for His sake, the same shall gain it and he that desires to gain it, the same shall lose it.

These persons likewise find it irksome when they are commanded to do that wherein they take no pleasure. Because they aim at spiritual sweetness and consolation, they are too weak to have the fortitude and bear the trials of perfection. They resemble those who run fretfully away from everything that is hard, and take offense at the Cross, wherein consist the delight of the spirit. The more spiritual a thing is, the more irksome they find it, for as they seek to go about spiritual matters with complete freedom and according to the inclination of their will, it causes them great sorrow and repugnance to enter upon the narrow way, which says Christ, is the way of life. [6]

Whatever else is said about the narrow way Our Lord spoke of, it certainly cannot include those who would contravene what Pope Pius IX of blessed memory noted in his Encyclical Letter Quanta Cura about the obedience owed to the Roman Pontiff in the areas of feeding, ruling, and guiding the Church (cf. QC §5).
In his fabulous book Characters of the Inquisition, William Thomas Walsh states that in medieval Spain the Inquisition would burn you at the stake for proclaiming that the Pope was not the Vicar of Christ, but that you were free to say publicly that the Pope was a scoundrel and the Inquisition would leave you alone.[33] 
Most of the popes during the late fifteenth century period were scoundrels. By contrast, the past four popes have all been saintly men - much as many of their Counter-reformation predecessors were.

Today, in our topsy-turvy Church, that is somewhat reversed. Hans Kung can publicly proclaim heresies on Papal infallibility/primacy, Christology, and Trinitarian theology and the modern equivalent of the Grand Inquisitor will say that, "I respect his path, which he takes in accord with his conscience.”[34] 

Of course David claimed earlier that this profusion of novelty threatens to harm my family’s faith.  And that reality makes bearing the burden of traditionalism an imperative. What is this except him taking a path in accordance with his conscience??? DP may claim that Kung is a heretic but papal primacy is implicitly denied by more than mere heresy. Pope Pius IX spelled it out in Quanta Cura.

Despite his numerous public heresies, Kung remains a priest in good standing. 

Most Catholics today have no idea whom Hans Kung is. If Pope John Paul II had handled him as DP seems to think he should have, there could have easily been a major schism in the Church. This writer though realizes that the evil of schism is not often fully grasped by self-styled "traditionalists" -many of whom ride that line themselves if not cross over it.

Besides, there is some irony in David getting all bent out of shape over Kung. For a major influence on Hans Kung's theological formation was the nineteenth century German historian and theologian Johann von Dollinger. The latter objected to the First Vatican Council for introducing into Catholic dogmatics a "novelty" with the defining as dogma of papal infallibility. Prior to the Council, this was a proposition that was widely considered certain theologically; however there was no obligation on the part of anyone to accept it with the assent of faith. But the First Vatican Council changed that and Dollinger went into schism with the Old Catholics over this "novelty" that David accepts and castigates Kung for not accepting.

According to David's own theory logically applied, Kung is correct to reject this nineteenth century "novelty of dogma" since "Tradition rejects novelty."  Another example is that of the Greeks and the filioque. Like Dollinger after them, the Greeks and Rome broke down in communion over the latter accepting the sixth century "novelty" of the filioque clause in the Credo. None of this of course is problematical for the Catholic who recognizes (in reality as well as in the abstract) the principle of development of doctrine and practice in the Church's life. But for those who claim that "Tradition rejects novelty", well it is another cannon ball ripping a hole below the waterline of their theoretical vessel.

For you see, St. Vincent of Lerens noted with regards to authentic developments that"no change may ensue in the character of the plant"  though "[t]here may supervene shape, form, variation in outward appearance."  Variation in outward appearance of course can take many different forms. What is a change in outward appearance is no different than a form of "novelty" if we really strip it down to brass tacks. In fact, it is indisputable that by his accepting of papal infallibility and the filioque, David is accepting earlier novelties in blatant contradiction to his own theory!!!

As a result of the latter points, this writer challenges David and his allies to find the heretics or schismatics from the pre-Vatican II period of history who did not base their rebellion on complaints (in some form or another) that the Church erred by introducing a novel teaching or practice. And failure to do this will be to establish by default that Church history itself roundly confutes David's theory.

On the other hand, if you merely question the prudence of such policies as ecumenism, inter religious dialogue, and the liturgical “reform”, decline to expose your family to things that you believe in conscience are harmful to them (which is what the much touted “resistance” to papal policies amounts to), and call for their reversal, you are denounced as an integrist at best, a schismatic at worst by the neo-Catholic community. 

Notice now that DP is appealing to conscience when he criticizes Cardinal Ratzinger for respecting the conscience of Hans Kung. Nonetheless, the problem is not question[ing] the prudence of such policies as ecumenism, inter religious dialogue, and the liturgical “reform”. Instead, it is (i) refusing to give proper assent to the doctrinal teaching of the Church regarding these subjects (ii) refusing to give proper assent to the polices set forth by the magisterium surrounding these subjects and (iii)  refusing to give proper assent to the magisterium in its guidance of the Church on the aforementioned subjects. Essentially there are violations of all three areas as outlined by Pope Pius IX in his Encyclical Letter Quanta Cura.

The irony is that at least the Inquisition had Church approval to move against individuals.  The neo-Catholic community has no such authority, but constantly acts as if it does.

This writer would be interested in DP explaining where anyone has sought to put so-called "traditionalists" on a wheel or rack them for torture. Not only that but if DP could point us to where any of the other physical attributes that accompanied the more extreme operations of some of the Inquisitions in many countries where it was an institution back in the day have been sanctioned.

Furthermore, the Code of Canon Law with regards to external offenses is careful to exclude the individual being punished canonically unless they have committed an actual offense with a manifested malice or culpability (cf. can. 1321). With regards to imputability, the faithful are to preserve their communion with the Church at all times (cf. can. 209) and external violations involve presumed imputability unless the contrary is manifested (cf. 1323§3). The stricture on the latter is not in favour of the violator canonically in the event of an external offense being manifested. Though it is true that rank and file Catholics are not authorized to pronounce canonical judgment on others -and of course with the exception of the Almighty's insight, the internal forum cannot be ascertained with certainty.

Nonetheless, as (i) forms of fideism are condemned by the Church (ii) by logical extension we are expected to have a healthy respect for the tools of logic and reason. These points are necessary in order to (iii) profess a belief in the human ability through the tools of logic and reason to discern objective truth. Such beliefs require by their very nature that a judgment of some sort be made or else the very notion is merely "so much sound and fury signifying nothing." As it is impossible to avoid making a value judgment at some point on the continuum, for this reason it requires any judgments of the external forum to be conducted with the utmost of charitable interpretation. However, this is not a blind or uncritical judgment but one that must be on the basis of precedents or habitual patterns and/or manifested tendencies. (As they present themselves in the external forum.) With those such as David's allies at The Remnant, there has been a long standing and habitual pattern of public controversion of the principles enunciated by the ecclesiastial magisterium since Vatican II. This pattern manifests itself in virtually every article printed in that periodical that deals with the subject of Vatican II.

For that reason, it is not unreasonable at all to legitimately question the adherence of these kinds of individuals to the Church authorities. Catholics after all should take seriously Pope Pius IX of blessed memory's teaching in Quanta Cura about rendering obedience to the Holy Father in the areas of teaching ("feeding"), issuing directives or disciplines ("ruling"), and setting the agenda for what is right and proper in a given epoch of time for the universal church ("guiding" the church). Such an authentically Traditional approach to the magisterium does not allow for the kind of resistance of commandments of ecclesial superiors -and the accompanying public manifestations of disobedience that these often involve- that are par for the course with people such as David's allies at The Remnant and others like them. (And which we noted earlier are blatantly contrary to Pope Benedict XV's teaching in his Enyclical Letter Ad Beatissimi Apostolorem.) For these and other reasons which could be noted, faithful Catholics are justifiably condemning of those who exhibit habitual patterns of the sort of conduct that the spiritual masters of the Catholic tradition find so repugnant. St. Frances de Sales had this to note about public statements on the preceived sins or failings of others:

If you would be justified in condemning a neighbour's sin, you must be sure that it is needful either for his good or that of others to do so. For instance, if light, unseemly conduct is spoken of before young people in a way calculated to injure their purity, and you pass it over, or excuse it, they may be led to think lightly of evil, and to imitate it; and therefore you are bound to condemn all such things freely and at once, unless it is obvious that by reserving your charitable work of reprehension to a future time, you can do it more profitably.

Furthermore, on such occasions it is well to be sure that you are the most proper person among those present to express your opinion, and that your silence would seem in any way to condone the sin. If you are one of the least important persons present, it is probably not your place to censure; but supposing it to be your duty, be most carefully just in what you say,--let there not be a word too much or too little. For instance, you censure the intimacy of certain people, as dangerous and indiscreet. Well, but you must hold the scales with the most exact justice, and not exaggerate in the smallest item. If there be only a slight appearance of evil, say no more than that; if it be a question of some trifling imprudence, do not make it out to be more; if there be really neither imprudence nor positive appearance of evil, but only such as affords a pretext for malicious slander, either say simply so much, or, better still, say nothing at all. When you speak of your neighbour, look upon your tongue as a sharp razor in the surgeon's hand, about to cut nerves and tendons; it should be used so carefully, as to insure that no particle more or less than the truth be said. And finally, when you are called upon to blame sin, always strive as far as possible to spare the sinner.

Public, notorious sinners may be spoken of freely, provided always even then that a spirit of charity and compassion prevail, and that you do not speak of them with arrogance or presumption, or as though you took pleasure in the fall of others. To do this is the sure sign of a mean ungenerous mind. And, of course, you must speak freely in condemnation of the professed enemies of God and His Church, heretics and schismatics,--it is true charity to point out the wolf wheresoever he creeps in among the flock. Most people permit themselves absolute latitude in criticising and censuring rulers, and in calumniating nationalities, according to their own opinions and likings. But do you avoid this fault; it is displeasing to God, and is liable to lead you into disputes and quarrels. When you hear evil of any one, cast any doubt you fairly can upon the accusation; or if that is impossible, make any available excuse for the culprit; and where even that may not be, be yet pitiful and compassionate, and remind those with whom you are speaking that such as stand upright do so solely through God's Grace. Do your best kindly to check the scandal-bearer, and if you know anything favourable to the person criticised, take pains to mention it.[7]

If faithful Catholics see David's allies approach their public utterances in ways that reflect what is noted above -and they cease conforming so predictably to the parts of the boldened text which find the displeasure of St. Francis de Sales and other spiritual masters whose work mirrors these sentiments- then they would provide a foundation for those who currently condemn them on their trackrecord to reassess their judgment. But bear in mind, such a long trackrecord of imprudence and uncharity is not easily overcome. Without manifesting some kind of public repentence for their past behaviours and statements, there is no reason to presume that they would be genuinely sorry for the damage they have objectively caused.

It has to stop.  The numbers and zeal of neo-Catholics would present a formidable shift in the dynamics of the Church, if only they would join the traditionalist movement, as I have.  And so I add my voice to that of Michael Matt, calling on my Catholic brothers at The Wanderer to please, stop defending the indefensible.  Abandon the regime of novelty and join us in the defense of Catholic Tradition.
Indeed it does have to stop and this essay is about finished. But before signing off, a recapitulation if you will of what has been covered is necessary so that the reader can see just how thoroughly DP's theory and its supporting theses have been discredited.

As this writer noted earlier, one of his intellectual mentors defined a theory as "a set of non contradictory abstract ideas (or as philosophers like to call them 'principles') which purports to be either a correct description of reality or a guideline for successful action."  Applying this definition to David's essay supplies some interesting conclusions.

For one thing, DP claims that "Tradition rejects novelty." But as this writer has shown in countless places, David misquotes his sources attempting to sustain this theory. For in support of his theory, David advances five theses which he attempts to defend. This writer reminds the reader that a thesis (plural: theses) is "an abstract principle or proposition advanced and maintained by argument."  David's theses intended to prove that the Fathers rejected novelty, the medievals rejected novelty, the modern popes rejected novelty, and that the terminology and subsequent application of novelty in the period since the Second Vatican Council proves the wisdom of the Fathers, medievals and modern popes on this score. It all sounds good in the abstract; however when we look at reality a different picture is painted.

For example, in seeking to establish the first thesis, David misquotes the Fathers quite badly. This is a well established fact beyond debate. Furthermore, David compounds this problem by misquoting the medieval theologians as represented by St. Thomas Aquinas on a key point required to sustain his second thesis. But before doing that, David failed to realize the full import behind how ineffective citing Gratian's Decretals to buttress an argument today really is. (Though it must be noted that this source was correctly referenced.) In St. Thomas' time, when it was not known that Gratian integrated sections of the False Decretals into his compendium, such arguments could have effectiveness. But today, barring David proving that his citation from Gratian is from genuine sources and not forged ones, his point on that note fails to sustain itself.

From the point of referencing Gratian, a further examination of what St. Thomas said on the matter also does not help David's thesis on the medievals one iota either. Nor did the forty odd historical novelties that DP accepts simply because they were around for a while. Obviously if "Tradition rejects novelty" then those novelties should be rejected as well. So the core of DP's overall theory viz. novelty contradicts itself which disqualifies it from being a viable theory.

With regards to the pre Vatican II modern popes, it is clear in examining the Encyclical Letter Pascendi Dominici Gregis that David does not understand what Pope Pius X was saying. One of the significant points of that encyclical was the pontiff's emphasis on the pride of the modernist resulting in them refusing to obey ecclesiastical authority. The similarity between this admonitions and the "We Resist You" crowd's contravening actions in this regard is nothing short of striking to put it mildly. Further still, David's citing of Pope Benedict XV's Encyclical Letter Ad Beatissimi Apostolorum is quite clearly an example of arrested development since he stops short of the parts which directly confute his theory of it being okay to "resist the magisterium." (David's affiliation with The Remnant and its expounders of this theory can only be seen by an objective observer as him giving at least a tacit acceptance of said theory.)

Furthermore, Pope Benedict is clear that "Catholics should abstain  from certain appellations which have recently been brought into use to distinguish one group of Catholics from another." Yet all of this differentiation of "neo-Catholic" and "traditionalist" are precisely what Pope Benedict says is not permissible to do!!! So even in that regard, David and his allies are "weighed in the scales and found wanting"  (Dan v,27) viz. whether or not they can claim to be faithful to the pre Vatican II magisterium. (The failure of David's thesis on this point to sustain itself as viable notwithstanding.)

With the "novelties in terminology" thesis, it was made clear that again DP did not do his homework and if he had, the examples he gives in that section viz. Cardinal Law and Cardinal George were hardly the problems that he presumes that they were. Indeed, the sixteenth century example given by itself crushes into dust the presumptuous statements of such actions being "grounds for deposition in any century before Vatican II"  as David had claimed. With the Assisi example, that was moved into the "novelty in practice" section since David mentioned the subject twice and this author did not want to have to cover the matter twice. Nonetheless, in dealing with the "novelties in practice" thesis, the rationale behind Assisi was laid out and it was noted to be an example of dealing with reality rather than abstract concepts. The methodology on the matter perfectly conforms to the dialogue as envisioned by Pope Paul VI and carried forward by his successor Pope John Paul II. But in attempting to argue against this point, David reveals a striking double standard viz. how he views the subject that is central to the entire Assisi subject.

There is some irony in the fact that Pope John Paul II was so emphatic on respecting the consciences of the non Christians at Assisi to be met with criticism and even an uncharitable interpretation of the pontiff's actions by DP on this matter -much as DP criticizes Cardinal Ratzinger for taking the same approach towards Hans Kung. Yet when it comes to resisting the authority of the Church's magisterium on subjects such as Assisi and interfaith outreach, David justifies this by an appeal to his own conscience!!! This is another example of contradiction which disqualifies this thesis of David's from being a viable one in support of his theory as well.

More could be noted but David basically has a theory with five self-contradicting theses which he cites for support of it. Or another way of putting it is this way: he has no viable theory whatsoever. For the idea that David has presented anything approaching "a set of non contradictory abstract ideas (or as philosophers like to call them 'principles')  -or what this writer has defined as a "viable theory"- is so roundly confuted in this essay that no one who seeks to avoid a suspension of reason and common sense can conclude otherwise. And of course how a contradictory jumble of abstract principles or propositions could in any way constitute a correct description of reality is a mystery that remains for DP to successfully solve for us all.

And finally, how a contradictory theory (with five internally contradictory supporting theses) which controverts solemn Catholic dogma can be readily viewed as a guideline for successful action is again a significant mystery. This reader asks David if he is serious about avoiding a suspension of reason and common sense to cease involving himself with those who act in ways that are contradictory to (i) the faith, (ii) reason, and (iii) common sense. It will involve picking up another cross but Our Lord is clear that such denial of self is necessary if we have any hope of being worthy of Him (Matt. x,38-39;  Mark viii,34-36;  Luke xiv,27).

A man must fight long and bravely against himself before he learns to master himself fully and to direct all his affections toward God. When he trusts in himself, he easily takes to human consolation. The true lover of Christ, however, who sincerely pursues virtue, does not fall back upon consolations nor seek such pleasures of sense, but prefers severe trials and hard labors for the sake of Christ...

In what can I hope, then, or in whom ought I trust, save only in the great mercy of God and the hope of heavenly grace? For though I have with me good men, devout brethren, faithful friends, holy books, beautiful treatises, sweet songs and hymns, all these help and please but little when I am abandoned by grace and left to my poverty. At such times there is no better remedy than patience and resignation of self to the will of God. [Thomas a Kempis: The Imitation of Christ Book II, Ch. 9 (c. 1418)]


[1] Pope Pius IX: Encyclical Letter "Quanta Cura" §5 (December 8, 1864)

[2] St. Francis de Sales: "Introduction to the Devout Life" Book I, Ch. XXVIII (ante. 1622)

[3] St. John of the Cross: "Dark Night of the Soul" Book I, Ch. VI (ante. 1582)

[4] St. John of the Cross: "Dark Night of the Soul" Book I, Introduction (ante. 1582)

[5] Pope Paul VI: "Dialogues of Paul VI with Jean Guitton from "Dialogue on the Mystery of the Council" pg. 231 (c. 1966) as quoted at I. Shawn McElhinney's weblog Rerum Novarum (c. 2003)

[6] St. John of the Cross: "Dark Night of the Soul" Book I, Ch. VI (ante. 1582)

[7] St. Francis de Sales: "Introduction to the Devout Life" Book I, Ch. XXIX (ante. 1622)

Other Notes:

The citation from Pope Bl. Pius IX's Encyclical Letter "Quanta Cura" was obtained at the following link:

The citations from St. Francis de Sales' "Introduction to the Devout Life" were obtained at the following link:

The citations from St. John of the Cross' "Dark Night of the Soul" were obtained at the following link:
The citation of Pope Paul VI from "Dialogues of Paul VI With Jean Guitton" was taken from I. Shawn McElhinney's weblog "Rerum Novarum" and was obtained at the following link:

©2004, "The 'Tradition is Opposed to Novelty' Canard", written by I. Shawn McElhinney. This text may be
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