(LifeSiteNews) — On June 29, 1972, the Feast of Sts. Peter and Paul, a very famous paragraph was uttered by Pope Paul VI: “…We would say that, through some mysterious crack – no, it’s not mysterious; through some crack, the smoke of Satan has entered the Church of God. There is doubt, uncertainty, problems, unrest, dissatisfaction, confrontation.”
The post Conciliar wounds were already manifesting themselves very early after abandoning the Mass of the Ages. 1972 was just two and one half years into the liturgical experiment which was the introduction of the Novus Ordo. It was rolled out via a mandatory fiat on the First Sunday of Advent for the liturgical year of 1970; Sunday November 30, 1969. The Novus Ordo liturgy in its infancy, had allowed many ruptures to crack the edifice of the Holy Roman Rite as well as the structures surrounding the deposit of the Apostolic Faith. At the time, many were insistent that the New Vernacular Liturgy would bring about a great springtime of renewal in the Church. For anyone who is fair minded and has had their eyes wide open, the Church has been conversely going in a very different direction; into a deep winter that is getting worse and worse with each passing decade.
The point must be driven home that incense had always been a part of the Traditional Latin High Mass (Missa Cantata), the Solemn High Mass (Schola, Deacon, and Subdeacon), and the Requiem Masses. Incense has ever been a symbol of purification and of our prayers ascending to the Throne of the Most Holy Trinity. The wide variance between smoke and incense should not be lost on any Catholic. Smoke is the burning byproduct of fires. Incense burns on charcoals in thuribles. The smoke to which Pope Paul VI referred was a direct reference to the demonic. The incense in our Catholic churches is angelic and celestial. In the unvarnished truth; Hell versus Heaven.
The Old Testament is replete with a similar theme of incense being offered on the high places of localized pagan shrines. This goes a step farther into the abyss by offering what is Holy to pagan gods. The Fathers of the Church were insistent that any pagan religion had demonic origins. Therefore, anyone offering incense on the high places were offering sacrifices, censing pagan altars, and censing pagan idols. King Hezekiah, in 2 Kings 18:4, removed the high places, broke the pillars, cut down the Asherah, and broke in pieces the bronze serpent that Moses had made. Most importantly, King Hezekiah stopped Israel from burning incense to the bronze serpent. The bronze serpent healed the Israelites of old; they had been bitten by the scorpions in Numbers 21:6-9. The bronze serpent served as a forerunner of the Holy Cross. It had passed into an idol over time. Both the bronze serpent and the Holy Cross heal us of our basest fears as men. Gazing on the bronze serpent heals our fear of snakes and the devil. Gazing on the cross heals our fears of an instrument of capital punishment (eternal death) as well as our First Parents betraying us in the Garden of Eden by eating the fruit of the wood of the forbidden tree.
The Diocese of San Cristobal de las Casas in Mexico is petitioning Rome for a Mayan Rite. Within the Rite is the possibility of women censing the altar with the priest. When I saw Pope Francis censing an altar during a Novus Ordo Mass (incorporating Mayan pagan practices) with two women (not priests) during a video online, I immediately recalled King Uzziah (not a priest) in 2 Chronicles 26:19 who tried to burn incense on the altar of incense. He was withstood by Azariah the priest and 80 of his fellow priests of valor. King Uzziah was therefore afflicted with leprosy to the day of his death. His son Jotham reigned in his stead.
Our Lord is not pleased with the endless innovations in the Holy Liturgy. Even less so, when anyone attempts to merge pagan practices with the Holy Mass. The Holy Trinity alone has the purview to organically grow the mighty tree of the Holy Faith that imparts to us the means of an ever more mature conduit of the Mass of the Ages. We can see the smoke of Satan entering the realm of men many times throughout creation. These are the major crossroads of betrayal on the part of our fathers in the past and on the part of mankind in present within a religious posture. Juxtaposed is the smoke of the powers of death vs. the incense which rises to the light and the life of heaven on our behalf.
Let us make no mistake: the modern Vatican seems interested in promoting any local Rite within the Roman Rite as long as it is not the Traditional Latin Mass. This is quite curious as these innovations always end up in the same obscure liturgical wasteland. The Anglican Use is not really growing at any appreciable pace. The Rite of Zaire is not growing. The Amazonian Rite will not grow, and the Mayan Rite certainly will not grow. The aforementioned Rites are all far less than 200 years old; that used to be the standard. The TLM alone is the only antidote to allay the deadly virus of secularism and the only Liturgy growing exponentially; the only Liturgy that safeguards our present and future Catholics.
The powers of hell do not rage ferociously against any Rite that is not a clear and present danger thwarting the sinister design of destruction woven by the Evil One Himself. Any pope, bishop, or priest who willingly stands in the way of the TLM is aiding and abetting Satan’s minions. Do our prelates not want young Catholics who know their faith and largely bring their parents to the Holy Mass of countless Saints? Do they not want a congregation that dresses nicely in their Sunday best? Do they not want a congregation that attends Sunday Mass at a 99% clip? Do they not want Catholics who go regularly to confession? Do they not want people who give, on average, 5 times more money in the collection than their fellow Novus Ordo attendees? Do they want a growing Church (TLM +15% yearly) or a shrinking Church (Novus Ordo -3% yearly)?
Yesterday was Spy Wednesday. The Smoke of Satan treacherously entered Judas the day before Maundy Thursday. The Smoke of Satan manifested itself during the Great Schism with the Orthodox in 1054. The Smoke of Satan was present at the Papal Schism which ended in 1417. The Smoke of Satan was kindled at the Protestant Schism in 1520 and the Anglican Schism in 1536. We are on the verge of another more devastating schism as a result of rending the Traditional Latin Mass from the fabric of the Holy Mother Church and replacing it with a patch (Novus Ordo) that is easily being torn away by Satan himself. The Smoke of Satan spoken about by Pope Paul VI in 1972 indeed!
I beg any reader of this article to prayerfully consider the one possible spiritual antidote in the face of the secularism and modernism that is currently threatening to wipe out any and all forms of religion. The great Pharisee Gamaliel once told the Jewish Sanhedrin (Acts 5:38-39) that they should let the then fledgling Christian sect alone, lest they find themselves fighting against God. I submit that the Catholic Church must return to the Once and Future Mass of the Ages. It is actually the one conduit of God’s grace that is fortified against any spiritual attack from Hell. It proved itself before 1965 (80% Sunday attendance) and it is proving itself in 2023 (99% Sunday attendance). Sunday attendance for the Novus Ordo vernacular Mass in the Diocese of Bridgeport was 9% in 2022; it had fallen every year prior. The percentage of Catholics going to the Sunday Novus Ordo Mass has never gone up in the past 53 years. It is absolutely time to let egos and emotions be laid aside. Do we need any further witnesses?