Posted by: Thomas Richard | December 26, 2022

From Its Chamber, the Whirlwind and Cold – The Bomb Cyclone of 2022

Three “words” – three events – three “lessons” I guess they could be called, sum up this Holy Season for me, 2022.  The astounding coming of God Himself into humanity – quietly, secretly (mysteriously as a baby!) became present to me, leading me to an even deeper awareness of the promise of His second coming.  This next time is promised to be even more “astounding” – even shocking – to a humanity as a whole asleep spiritually, unconscious of the God of their creation soon to come.  He will come and ask for an account of our stewardship – what have we done with the many Gifts He has given us?

The Church has been taught, and entrusted, and was given much for which to give account. As humble stewards, we were to call the world to humanity’s stewardship of His mercy, and His love, and His call to us to holiness. We were to “make disciples.” As did John the Baptist, we were to proclaim His coming.

CCC 524 When the Church celebrates the liturgy of Advent each year, she makes present this ancient expectancy of the Messiah, for by sharing in the long preparation for the Savior’s first coming, the faithful renew their ardent desire for his second coming. [Cf Rev 22:17] By celebrating the precursor’s birth and martyrdom, the Church unites herself to his desire: “He must increase, but I must decrease.” [Jn 3:30]

Lesson 1.

Very much in the season of Advent, I was stunned – shocked – by the surprise intervention of the Pope in the matter of Frank Pavone, a central figure in the pro-life battle in America.  I will not try to gather a long history of Pavone’s commitment to this vocation in his priesthood, nor with his several attempts to find a bishop to follow his first bishop in understanding, accepting and endorsing Pavone’s deep personal embrace of that vocation. But of the many ways a Pope might intervene to help in this matter, our Pope chose a “bomb” – a “nuclear” bomb at that: he chose, without discussion or possibility of compromise,  to strip Pavone of His ecclesial priesthood.  Of all the renegade priests and bishops and archbishops and cardinals today who are subverting the Church with divisive and confused moral and theological errors, our Pope chose to “correct” this one traditional and faithful priest with laicization.  He is no longer a priest in the Church. I was stunned, hardly able to make sense of this, by the quiet and sudden severity of this act: a “cold” “bomb”.

A passage of Scripture comes to mind:

Then they will deliver you up to tribulation, and put you to death; and you will be hated by all nations for my name’s sake.
And then many will fall away, and betray one another, and hate one another.
And many false prophets will arise and lead many astray.
And because wickedness is multiplied, most men’s love will grow cold. (Mt 24:9-12)

Lesson 2.

The second lesson began with the papal cancelling of the “Latin Mass” – the 1962 Liturgy, the Traditional Holy Mass of pre-Vatican II. This intervention, strangely explained as an act demanded in the name of Church unity (?), began last year (07/16/2021) with Francis’s motu proprio Traditionis Custodes.  This harsh new directive became an “Advent awakening” for me because of the literal cold that came in the Advent’s “Bomb Cyclone of 2022”.  My plan for Christmas Sunday Mass for myself, my wife and one of my sisters, was to drive to a near-by city to participate in the Traditional Latin Mass still, for the time being at least, allowed in our diocese in a very few locations.

Physically preparing for the coming severe cold upon the house and the household, I was left exhausted.  As Sunday Vigil came, along with the extreme cold, I was not in a safe condition to drive to that Traditional Mass.  We instead were able to be part of an “Ordinary Form” Mass in the local parish.  Prayerful reflection upon that celebration of the Mass, alongside the memories of the offerings of the Traditional Mass of past weeks in the near-by city, formed in me this second Advent Lesson.  This Lesson, significantly to me came on this most significant feast day, Holy Christmas: Christ is coming.  Christ is near, and coming, and before Him an account of our deeds must be given by us all – all in the Church and in the world.

This cold-induced interior bombing, in me, brought to mind a very disturbing passage of Scripture.  I will not spell out the meanings of this passage, except to set it before readers to reflect upon, as I reflect upon it: “Peter was with them, standing and warming himself.”

The maid who kept the door said to Peter, “Are not you also one of this man’s disciples?” He said, “I am not.”
Now the servants and officers had made a charcoal fire, because it was cold, and they were standing and warming themselves; Peter also was with them, standing and warming himself. (Jn 18:17-18)

Lesson 3.

What is the meaning of “cold”?  How can we understand this strange silent weather explosion that came upon America in this past Advent, still lingering now into the Season of Christmas?  I was led to a passage from Scripture that focuses my heart and mind and prayer to one truth especially, the last verse in this passage:

God thunders wondrously with his voice; he does great things which we cannot comprehend.
For to the snow he says, ‘Fall on the earth’; and to the shower and the rain, ‘Be strong.’
He seals up the hand of every man, that all men may know his work.
Then the beasts go into their lairs, and remain in their dens.
From its chamber comes the whirlwind, and cold from the scattering winds.
By the breath of God ice is given, and the broad waters are frozen fast.
He loads the thick cloud with moisture; the clouds scatter his lightning.
They turn round and round by his guidance, to accomplish all that he commands them on the face of the habitable world.
Whether for correction, or for his land, or for love, he causes it to happen.
(Job 37:5-13, RSV – CE)

Does God have cause for correction, in releasing this “bomb cyclone” of cold – an arctic whirlwind of cold – upon this land in particular, this nation so abundantly blessed by the Hand of God?  Does His love not require Him to correct this wayward self-indulgent child of His?  Our very Constitution, our Declaration of Independence, our Statue of Liberty, all judge and condemn us for our self-imposed spiritual and moral poverty, our bankrupt sense of charity, our desolate sense of justice, the corrupt swamp to be found in the belly of our institutions, secular and ecclesial.  What defense can we offer, on the coming Day of Judgment, for our pitiful failure to righteously tend to the Gifts He has given us?

He has “sealed the hand of every man” that by our hands we cannot fix this!  He has frozen our attention, if we will but even try to see and to hear with the senses He has given us! Will we not, even now, admit our wrong and see and “know His work” – for the sake of love – to correct and to save us?

And so a final word from the Word, in this the Octave of Christmas, 2022:

Those whom I love, I reprove and chasten; so be zealous and repent.
Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if any one hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and eat with him, and he with me.
He who conquers, I will grant him to sit with me on my throne, as I myself conquered and sat down with my Father on his throne.
He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. (Rev 3:19-22)


  1. Dear Brothers and Sisters,

    There is much to ponder in this Blog article today, and hopefully we all will ponder it, by God’s Grace, this week and into the New Year. We have much to thank God for and much we need yet to do in answering with all our hearts to His call for our Holiness.

    • Thank you, Deborah. I too hope that all will ponder it – as I continue to ponder all that the Good Lord permits and enacts in these difficult times.

  2. Yes, I agree this blog requires much pondering. It is beautiful to read what I have been thinking all week though! God is telling us and showing us so much during these hard times. I’m surprised we have not heard homilies about these times. Stay strong my brothers and sisters!

    • It is good to encourage one another – we all do need to be strong and stay strong in the strength of holy Truth. And He, the Lord will remain, to help us.

  3. My wife and I would like to experience the traditional Latin Mass. Where is the church and the time of the service?
    Brother Thomas – all your blogs always have deep and true meaning of what we believe in our beloved Catholic Faiith. We are very thankful for your continous spreading the Good Words

  4. I agree the attacks on Fr. Pavone, TLM, and Capital Punishment are all very strange and difficult to understand , but instead of thinking too much about that I would recommend focusing on the voices of St. Therese of Lisieux and St. Joan of Arc. Can’t you hear? What are they telling you?

    • I keep listening to their Mother, and our Mother, and my Mother more intently, and she says of her Son, “Do whatever He tells you.” And this she said in the mysteriously appropriate context: a wedding. Bride and Bridegroom seeking holy union, yet the feast is threatened by a depletion of holy wine. The joy is near, very near.

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