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  Trinity Sunday

May 31, 2015

The Cry of the Banshee

In the lands of the north, where the black rocks stand guard against the cold Irish Sea, in the dark night that is very long, the men of Erin’s valleys stand by the great log fires, and they tell a tale. They tell of a triple goddess, three pagan sisters who represent but one being. This being goes by many names, the Phantom Queen of Fairies, the Lady of the Lake, the Moon Goddess, the Black Raven, the Banshee, the Morrigan. It is a distant memory, but the legends are still told. And there is another tale that is told by the light of these log fires that warm the room and dispel the darkness. It is a tale of pirates who brought to the shores of Erin a young boy from across the sea, a slave captured in the lands beyond the rising sun. The name of this boy was Patrick, and he was young and strong and fair as the men of the northlands are. More importantly he was a follower of a new religion that had come as the morning sun behind the mountains to melt away the black clouds of the pagan night. They tell how he lived among his captives until he grew in wisdom and holiness, and how then Patrick built a ship, and sailed away again, back across the sea, how the Pope of Rome made him a bishop and then sent him back to convert the pagan idolators from their superstitious ways, to bring the Catholic faith to the Irish people he loved so well.

And when Patrick arrived a second time on the shores of this land of dark forests and snow, this land of mountains and valleys, of deep, narrow bays where the sea roars between the black rocks, and the wind howls cold in the night, they tell how he was met this time by all the wrath and fury of the demon Morrigan and her pagan high priests and priestesses. Determined to defend their triple goddess of the night against the rising sun of Christianity, the druids went to work on their dark arts, summoning their demons, the three pagan sisters of Morrigan, with magic and incantations, poisoning the good folk of the land against the young bishop and his new Trinity.

Inspired by God, Patrick faced the druids and the mobs of angry people, and reaching down to the good, honest soil of Ireland, he plucked a simple three-leafed clover, a shamrock, from the field, and held it up. The ancient Irish Celts revered the shamrock because it has three leaves, and they considered "3" to be a sacred number. The three leaves shaped like hearts held mystical powers, they thought, powers associated with their evil triple goddess, the "Three Morrigans", the screaming banshee of the Celtic myths.

The genius of St. Patrick's use of the shamrock transformed the ancient beliefs of the pagan Druids into the understanding that their concept of a Trinity was based on a truth even more ancient than their mythology. A truth that extended beyond the memory of the men who told their tales around the great log fires, a truth that already existed when in the beginning God created the heaven and the earth. When in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word was God, and without whom was made nothing that was made. When the earth was without form and void, and darkness was upon the face of the deep. When the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters. The beginning, when there was only God. God the Creator, the Word of God, and the Spirit of God. Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

The Druid High Priests were impressed by St. Patrick’s teaching, and gave their approval to St. Patrick's missionary work in Ireland. Many of them converted to Christianity and some became bishops themselves. St. Patrick and his shamrock banished forever the demonic Trinity of Morrigan from the shores of Ireland. And to reinforce her exile, the new patriarch of this now-Catholic land drove out all the snakes from the island, forcing them to follow their demonic master into the sea. From that time forth to this day, as we all know, there have been no snakes in Ireland. In fact, no matter where you are in all the world, you will never find a snake in a field of shamrock. In many places shamrock is used as an antidote to snake venom. The foul serpent fleeth before the image of the Trinity!

For centuries, the people of Ireland remembered their great patron saint and his teachings. They kept the faith he taught them, often in the face of terrible persecution. They believed in the blessed Trinity and made his name holy throughout the land, from the humble reverence of simple farmers, to the learned and holy minds of great saints and scholars. The words “Catholic” and “Irish” were synonymous, and it was unthinkable that the Emerald Isle would ever falter in her faith.

The unthinkable happened on the 22nd day of May, 2015, just over a week ago. The majority of the Irish people voted to rebel against Almighty God, and overthrow his divine teachings on the sacrament of marriage. With voices raised in defiance against their God and their Church, both once held in such veneration, they voted to drive out the Blessed Trinity from their shores. As if God can be summoned and dismissed by the pull of a lever in a voting booth. And yet, make no mistake. God does listen to the will of the people. He will not impose his presence in a land where he is no longer welcome. The Blessed Trinity of Father, Son and Holy Ghost will surely abide by the free-will decision of those once so-proud Catholics who have rejected him, and he will allow them to choose an alternative god if they so desire. And when God leaves, who do you think will return to reclaim her own? The people of Ireland may not realize it yet, but they have voted to welcome back the once dreaded triple Morrigan into their midst. For the first time since the days of Patrick, the scream of the Banshee can be heard again in the once quiet and peaceful Irish night, and it cannot be long before the serpents return to their long-cold nests.

Elsewhere in the world, city after city in Iraq and Syria are falling to the evil infidels of ISIS. In the face of their bloody horrors, our own once-Catholic civilization is doing something it has never done before. Throughout history, when our faith has been attacked, our faithful have become stronger in the faith. They have fought for the faith. They have died for the faith. But this time there is a difference. Our faithful are becoming faith-less. There is no longer any will to fight against the encroachments of evil. The very institution of the Church led this rush to surrender, with its embrace of the Protestants and Jews at Vatican II and the expulsion of the Blessed Sacrament and the Mass from our churches. As in Ireland, that which was holy was driven out, and the devil wasted no time in replacing it with evil. Today those pathetic remnants of a once great faith, the bishops of Ireland, are shedding tears of dismay at last week’s vote. But at the same time their leaders in Rome have already started their preliminary sessions of a Synod that intends to welcome the peddlers of perversity into the very bosom of the Church. What will happen when the scourge of Islam once again approaches the gates of Rome as it did before the Battles of Vienna and Lepanto? Will the teeming multitudes of Catholic faithful once again be found on their knees praying the Rosary for the victory of the Most Holy Trinity over the false god of Allah?

The enemy is approaching. Islam and Allah are merely one of the many faces of the enemy. After all, says the Psalm, all the gods of the heathen are devils. That’s the real enemy. The devil has many faces, whether it be Allah, whether it be the Morrigan, or whether it be the presence of mortal sin in our own pitiful souls. If we stop for a moment, we can smell the foul breath of Morrigan permeating the air we breathe. Ramadi has fallen. Ireland has fallen. We are not far behind.

Those few of us who remain faithful, for our own sake, let us never cease to pray our beads for the restoration of the Church, her moral authority, and the triumph of her faith. Let us never again breathe the foul breath of Satan in the state of mortal sin. Yesterday was the last day of Eastertide, and after Vespers last night we began again our singing of the threefold daily Angelus. When all is dark in this our world of sin, when we can hardly make out any more the presence of Blessed Trinity in all the things around us, perhaps when we might hear the approaching cry of the Triple Morrigan echoing in the empty spaces, let the triple incantation of Our Lady’s Prayer, the Angelus, remind us always of the might and power of our heavenly Father, the infinite mercy of her Son, and the love and blessings of the Holy Ghost. Unto whom be all honour and glory, for ever and ever. Amen.

 Sermons from the Chaplain