EMERGENCY Notice from Gerry Matatics
A blessed Trinity Sunday to you all! I know most Catholics would understandably pick Christmas, Easter, or perhaps some other feast as their favorite day on the liturgical calendar, but today is MY favorite feast day, for a very important reason I’ll share in my next post and my next Facebook Live broadcast. I’ll be starting a special novena to the Blessed Trinity today for an extremely URGENT special intention I’ll clue you in on later in this letter.
Before I talk for a bit about one aspect of Pentecost (last Sunday — and we’re still within the octave of Pentecost, folks), the birthday of the Church, let me first mention briefly in passing two other personal birthdays I celebrated this past week. If you visited my website (www.gerrymatatics.org) or my public figure Facebook page this past week then you already know of the birth of our first grandchild, Philomena Rita Marie Matatics, born at 9:20 pm Thursday night (June 8) and born again by the holy sacrament of baptism the next day at noon. This newest Matatics and her proud parents, my second son and his wonderful wife, are all doing well, thanks be to God.
On Monday, three days before our granddaughter’s birth, we celebrated the birthday of Leslie, my wonderful, lovely, patient, kind-hearted, affectionate, talented, intelligent, savvy, supportive, spiritually-minded, devout and companionable wife of 34 years. God has showered us with many blessings over the years -- especially in our ten children (and now our first grandchild) -- and I look forward with joy and hope to all that He has in store for both of us in the years to come.
One thing I am particularly appreciative of about my dear wife is her consistent and courageous support of every unpopular and unprofitable (in financial terms) stand I have ever taken throughout my life. By God’s grace I have, my whole life, always valued truth over money — in an age where most people, even so-called Catholic leaders, seem more inclined to make the opposite choice. At every step along our pilgrimage toward a consistent classic Catholicism, my wife has courageously kept pace with me. To cite but four major examples:
a) First, when we renounced Protestantism and embraced the Catholic Faith in 1986 (see my CD “How the Bible Converted Me to Catholicism: One Protestant Minister’s Surprising Journey of Faith” for details),
b) Next, when we discovered in 1992 the shocking truth about “Pope” Paul VI’s “New Mass” (the “abomination of desolation” of our time) and — after nearly a year of subsequent intensive research and much fasting and prayer — stopped attending it in 1993,
c) Then, when in 2005 — after more than a decade of further research, prayer, soul-searching, and relentless bombardment by the various conflicting factions of “the traditional Mass movement” (indult, FSSP, SSPX, sedevacantist, and everything in between) — we finally faced up to this inescapable conclusion: that repudiation of the New Mass (the decision we’d already made back in 1993) logically necessitates repudiation of the pseudo-popes who gave us not only that “Mass” (since a false Mass could not come from a true pope) but also all the other tradition-betraying, Freemasonry-inspired, “counterfeit Catholic” reversals of Vatican II (on ecumenism, interfaith worship, salvation outside the Church, religious liberty, etc. etc.) enshrined in the New Catechism, New Code of Canon Law, new sacraments, etc. (see my 6-CD set “Consistent vs. Counterfeit Catholicism” for details), and
d) Finally, when we realized later that same year that the “traditional priests” of whatever stripe (FSSP, SSPX, SSPV, CMRI, etc.) ordained in the post-Vatican II era were in fact illicitly ordained (and — in more cases than one might suspect — often invalidly ordained as well), and are thus not truly priests of Christ’s Catholic Church, and we therefore stopped attending their chapels (see my CD “Unauthorized Shepherds” for more detail),
At each one of these major milestones, and many other major and minor ones, my wife’s steadfast, self-sacrificing support has been a Godsend, a consolation, and an enormous encouragement to me to valiantly and uncompromisingly fight for the truth on each of these issues against overwhelming opposition and much hostility, malice, and dishonesty from my opponents. Thank you, Leslie! And may Almighty God richly reward you, dear wife — if not here, then hereafter!
I cannot provide here a thorough discussion of the feast we began to celebrate beginning this past Sunday, the feast of Pentecost — a feast which sadly even many traditional Catholics tragically under-appreciate, even though it inaugurates the final and longest section of the entire liturgical year. (Time after Pentecost runs for the next nearly six months, until the Church year begins anew with Advent on December 3.)
Without Pentecost, the spiritual benefits achieved in Our Lord’s Nativity (Christmas) and Passion, Atoning Death, and Resurrection (Good Friday-Easter) would do us no good: the very reason the Third Person of the Blessed Trinity was provided at Pentecost was to apply to us the graces won by the Second Person of the Trinity.
Catholics who know their Catechism — or their Bible, since the following list can be found in Isaiah 11:2-3! — know that there are seven gifts of the Holy Ghost: wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and the fear of the Lord.
Armed with these seven gifts, each member of the Church, Christ’s mystical Body on earth, is empowered and obliged to charitably, humbly, graciously, winsomely, and persuasively present the truth of the Catholic Faith to our non-Catholic world, gently (1 Peter 3:15) but effectively exposing all errors and ideologies that oppose that truth. This entails, in our day, generously giving the world the following seven gifts:
1) The gift of knowing that there is objective truth.
We live in a postmodern world. That’s a philosophical term for a cultural phenomenon which every Catholic should thoroughly understand and know how to refute. Postmodernism believes it can guarantee peace amidst diversity by denying the existence of objective reality and reconceptualizing all reality as merely subjective, thereby rendering all beliefs equally valid.
I will be writing much more about this in the days and weeks to come and recommending some useful books on this subject, and it constitutes the very first section of my apologetics course, “Riding the Train of Truth All the Way to the End of the Line.” In an earlier age we could presuppose that people believed in objective truth, and we could, at the outset of any apologetics enterprise, immediately embark upon the case for the existence of God.
No more. “God” is now seen as a merely internal personal concept, with each person’s version of God — or even their disbelief in God — as somehow being equally valid. This error must be lovingly eradicated at the outset of any evangelistic encounter, before the case for the existence of the one true God (who has objectively revealed Himself — His existence and His nature — to the world) can be effectively made.
2) The gift of knowing that each human being possesses an immortal soul.
Again, it is pointless to embark on the case for theism (belief in God) unless the person we’re seeking to bring to faith in God believes that he or she will live forever, either in heaven with God or in hell without Him. Once upon a time people took this belief (in every human being’s possession of a spiritual soul which does not cease to exist at his or her physical death, and consequently belief in an afterlife) for granted. Those days are gone, and we need to know how to convincingly make this case.
3) The gift of knowing that logic is an essential tool on the God-ordained pathway to objective truth.
I cannot tell you how heartbreaking it is to talk to even self-professed “traditional Catholics” who will tell you that they just “feel” that God wants them to marry a non-Catholic, or to accept the supposed minimal validity of the New Mass and therefore the propriety of attending it if no Tridentine Mass is available where they live, or to receive sacraments from “traditional priests” who possess no mission and jurisdiction from Christ’s Church, because they just “feel” that God wouldn’t want them to not be able to go to a “priest” for confession, or to see their granddaughter make her First Communion, etc etc.
Feelings certainly have their place in life, and are an inevitable part of the human condition. We are not unfeeling logical computers or robots. But when “feelings” fly in the face of the laws of logic and the cold, hard facts of objective reality, they are not a reliable guide for faith and life; on the contrary, the are among the enemy’s most effective allies to lure us from the path of truth. Unless we know how to reason logically and how to spot logical fallacies in the arguments of others (or ourselves!), we will inevitably fall into error over and over again, and consequently risk suffering the loss of our salvation.
4) The gift of knowing that God (the one true triune God) exists.
Our age is awash in atheism, in case you haven’t noticed. Some of you have heard me discuss at length in my Facebook Live broadcasts (over the course of several weeks in February and March of this year) many of atheism’s arguments against God, and how those arguments ironically can be turned around to refute atheism itself. There’s lots more where that came from, and I want to serve it up to you over the coming months.
I’m sorry to report that in my experience less than 1% of even “traditional Catholics” can competently make the classic case for theism to an unbeliever. What a tragedy, and what a self-condemnation of our lack of proper philosophical and theological formation. And what a horrifying fate might well await any such inept and therefore mute believers, who should be successfully demonstrating the truth of theism and the errors of atheism in every forum open to us: conversations with family, friends, neighbors and co-workers; letters to the editor of newspapers and other periodicals; call-in radio shows; online forums; our Facebook pages; etc. etc.
5) The gift of knowing that Christ is God (thre second person of the Blessed Trinity), and that therefore Christianity is true and every other religion consequently and necessarily false.
Being able to prove to others that Jesus Christ indeed claimed to be divine, and that His claim is demonstrably true, not only establishes the truth of Christianity. It automatically proves the falsity of every religion which DENIES the unique deity of Christ: Talmudic Judaism, Islam, liberal (Unitarian) Protestantism, Buddhism, Hinduism, etc. etc. Each of us needs to know how to make this case — again, with extraordinary graciousness and poise.
6) The gift of knowing that only the real Catholic Church is Christ’s Church, and that therefore only Catholicism is the original and authentic Christianity: in other words, that every non-Catholic form of Christianity (Protestantism, Eastern “Orthodoxy,” and pretend-Christian cults like Mormonism, Jehovah’s Witnesses, etc. etc.) is therefore false, and fatally so.
When non-Catholics wield the Bible to a) attack Catholic teaching about Mary, or the Eucharist, or the other sacraments, or the papacy, or purgatory, or birth control, etc etc., and to b) attempt to substantiate from Scripture their own substitute version of Christianity, most Catholics fold like an origami butterfly. This need not be, and must not be, or God will hold us accountable for allowing these distorted and inauthentic forms of Christianity to grow up like weeds in God’s vineyard and choke out the true plant of the True Faith.
7) The gift of knowing that the real Catholic Church and the integral Catholic Faith are found, neither in the local parishes of the Vatican II counterfeit church, nor in the “independent chapels” of the “Catholic traditionalist movement,” but are rather found in those who heroically abstain from both the pseudo-Catholicism of the left and the right.
What good does it do to convince a non-Catholic of the truth of Catholicism if that person then takes his or her newfound Catholic Faith and attempts to practice it in either of these two arenas (the pro-Vatican II parish or the anti-Vatican II traditionalist chapel)? In either situation a Catholic — whether a new convert or one of long years’ standing — is necessarily forced to compromise one or more essential principles of the Faith and violate one or more precepts of God’s law. That’s a recipe for spiritual disorder and disaster, not salvation. And we need to know how to clearly and convincingly demonstrate this to every would-be convert to Catholicism.
If you paid carefully attention to the logical structure and sequence of the above seven steps, you should have noticed that each one of these seven gifts logically leads to the next one, and only the entire seven-link chain can successfully lead each human being ultimately to his or her saving final destiny. I don’t know about you, but I have dedicated myself and my remaining years to generously sharing these seven gifts with everyone within my power to reach. That’s why I do all that I do, day after day and night after night, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, without letup.
When I launched several free series of courses as Facebook Live broadcasts last fall, I had hoped that this would be supported by others as a new way to reach our world with this seven-fold gift of the Faith. I had hoped that if I suggested (as I did) that anyone watching any such video would be willing to donate, on average, a dollar for each video viewed, that this could fund the many educational and evangelistic projects that my lay apostolate, Biblical Foundations International (hereafter abbreviated as BFI), is engaged in.
At present count I’ve made well over 75 videos, and each one has been watched by an average of well over 100 persons. That would have meant an income stream from those Facebook Live broadcasts of about $7500 over the past seven months. That’s only a little over $1000 a month — not very much to ask, considering the hundreds and hundreds of hours I’ve spent preparing and giving those talks.
Although hundreds from around the world -- including many dozens of new people -- have written to express their appreciation for these broadcasts, almost no one has responded financially in this way, however. And because the time entailed in producing those videos has meant a corresponding lack of time to pursue other income-producing projects (the production of new CDs, the publication of my book, etc.), I find myself regrettably $7500 “in the hole” right now, and at a crisis point.
I hate writing appeal letters. In fact I haven’t posted one on my website or mailed or e-mailed one out this entire year of 2017 so far: the last appeal letter I wrote was in November of last year, 2016. I’d much rather simply earn the funds necessary to keep BFI doing its important work through tutoring people online, through the sale of CDs and books through my online store, through honoraria earned from giving public talks, through my Facebook Live broadcasts, etc. I’d love it if each of these avenues provided sufficient income so that I never had to write another appeal for donations!
But that, sadly, has not been the case. As I’ve just said, almost no one has responded financially as I’d hoped to my Facebook Live broadcasts (except three individuals who occasionally made, in the first couple of months, a $20 or $25 donation after viewing several of my broadcasts: the entirety of that totaled less than $200 — a far cry from the $7500 I needed).
Sales from our online store are way down, too. Invitations to give talks continue to be subverted by outside meddlers who don’t wish audiences to hear one or more aspects of the seven-fold chain of truth I’ve outlined above (especially the last link in the chain: the exposure of the counterfeit Catholicisms of both the left and the right). And I only picked up three new students from my recent offer of free lessons for each lesson paid for, when I’d hoped to pick up a minimum of 20 or so new students.
I’m eternally grateful for the handful of faithful supporters who send me something every month. God bless you! If you’re one of this loyal band of donors, I assume you’re already giving whatever you can afford to give, and I certainly don’t expect you to respond to this appeal by increasing your level of giving or giving anything additional over and above what you already do.
But if you haven’t given anything to BFI for awhile (say, this calendar year of 2017 so far), I beg you to please prayerfully consider giving as large a donation as you can afford, today. And perhaps some of those doing so might be willing to follow up by pledging to give at least $50 a month from this point forward, joining the ranks of my monthly supporters.
We operate on the absolute slimmest of shoestring budgets, pinching every penny. (Every penny saved and earned is immediately recycled back into tools to further disseminate the Catholic Faith.) And I’m happy to go on operating “on the cheap.” The inexpensive ($99) printer attached to my computer is over seven years old, and its broken output tray is hanging on with duct tape! (I have to hold my hand on it to ensure that our catalogs and other printed materials and paper records of purchases from our online store, etc. emerge properly from the printer without getting stuck!) My minivan — in which I’ve driven all over the country (to every single one of the 48 continental states, some of them multiple times) giving talks, putting nearly 100,000 miles on the vehicle — is now over ten years old, battered and beat up. (I can’t afford the body shop repairs when deer or reckless teenagers about town collide with my car, so it looks like it’s seen combat duty overseas.) The bookshelves holding BFI’s St. Jerome Study Center library are either cheap $29 units from Big Lots I’ve put back-breakingly put together dozens of units of myself, or are mere bricks and boards. And I live in a hundred-year-old house badly in need of multiple repairs which I cannot afford. I don’t — and won’t — spend money repairing or replacing any of these things because they’re not absolutely necessary to spreading the Faith, although other apostolates would doubtless spend money on such upgrades.
But I have other expenses I CAN'T avoid. The 6-months rent of $157 for BFI’s PO box is due later this month, and frankly I don’t have the money to pay it. (Without a PO box I can’t receive mail orders for the CDs and books I sell; I still have many customers who don’t have a computer and therefore can’t order from our online store.) I also have to pay monthly fees for our Internet service, the hosting of our website, utilities such as electricity, etc etc.
That $7500 figure I’d hoped to earn over the past seven months by those $1-a-broadcast-viewer donations after each Facebook Live broadcast is no arbitrary amount. Last fall I did an interest-free, 6-months-same-as-cash balance transfer of that amount from one credit card to another, hoping that over the past six months I would have earned that much income from the broadcasts, as already explained, before the balance came due the middle of this month, when the 0% APR would leap to a penalizing 24%! I’ve held off making any appeal over the past half year, hoping it wouldn’t be necessary. But now, with the $7500 income not having materialized despite my most strenuous efforts, I need to raise that entire amount over the next very few days!
Meanwhile I haven’t been idly sitting by, nonchalantly and irresponsibly hoping for an undeserved miracle. Over the past several weeks I’ve resumed going to used book sales at libraries with my wife all over this area (some requiring a 4-hour roundtrip, like the one a few weeks ago in Ithaca NY), buying good used theological books (an area I’m expert in) and good used children’s books (an area my wife is expert in) which we can then immediately re-sell on eBay, just to be able to pay BFI’s monthly bills.
But the hours and hours I spend driving to, shopping at, and returning from these many used book sales (often as many as 4 or more sales a week) means correspondingly fewer hours I can spend doing my work as a Catholic apologist and Scripture scholar, scripting and producing new CDs, doing free Facebook Live broadcasts, etc. — all of which I’d much rather be doing, of course. I’m particularly keen to resume the many series I launched — a different one each of five different nights a week — of free Facebook Live broadcasts of courses on the Old Testament, New Testament, Dogmatic Theology, the Liturgical Year, and Christian Social Principles. But I can’t do it without funding — without your all-essential help.
1) As always, the quickest, easiest way to donate is to go to any page on my website (www.gerrymatatics.org) and click on the gold-colored “Make a Donation” button in the upper right area of the website’s homepage (or any page) to use PayPal to make a donation. Please make it a generous amount! If I can get 75 people to respond to this appeal with an average of $100 or more, I can raise the $7500 I need to by the middle of this month. (And I know from past experience that many of you will send less than $100, so some of you will need to correspondingly donate more than $100 in order for me to reach that total.)
2) Or you can call me at (570) 969-1724 to use your Discover, Visa, or MasterCard to make a donation. If you get my private voicemail because I’m currently on the phone with someone else, just leave on the recording (it’s completely secure: no one listens to it but me) your credit card information: your name exactly as it appears on the card, the 16-digit card number and expiration date, the 3-digit security code on the back of the card, your billing address for that card, and the amount you wish to donate.
3) A third option is to make out a check or money order, payable to either “Gerry Matatics” or “Biblical Foundations International,” and mail it to me — tomorrow, if you can, since it will take 2-3 days or more for a check to get to me — at PO Box 569, Dunmore PA 18512.
Thank you for generously responding to this appeal! It is up to each of us — up to each member of the Body of Christ, without exception — to do our sacrificial part to bring the Faith to as many people as possible in the short time allotted to us. I appreciate the privilege it is to partner with you to accomplish just this. I know God will have much to say to us at our judgment as to how much we sacrificed of our time and money to bring two others the gift of the Faith and eternal life. I want to be found faithful to that commission, and I’m sure you do, too. May Almighty God richly reward you!
Yours for the One True Faith, without which no one can be saved,