Catholic Family News

The Party of God: The Pivot of History

Editor’s Note: The following is an edited transcript of a sermon delivered by Fr. Michael McMahon, SSPX, on Septuagesima Sunday (Jan. 28, 2024) at Our Lady Immaculate Church in Oak Park, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago). The audio recording is also available on CFN’s YouTube channel:


A Pivotal Season

We come to a pivotal time. Pivotal of course means of a crucial importance, upon which the meaning, on which things depend, upon which something turns. We are at a pivotal time. Certainly, in the liturgy, it’s Septuagesima Sunday; we are now wearing the violet vestments. It’s that turning point, turning from the beautiful joys of Christmas, looking forward to the rigors of Lent, a penitential time of more efficacious preparation for the great and solemn Holy Week, and of course the most important preparation for Easter Sunday, the Resurrection.

We can also say that it’s a pivotal time by the fact that this is an election year. Of course, there are elections every year, but this is a very important one because every four years it’s the election of the President of the United States. And regardless of what theories there might be, that he’s only a figurehead, that there are powers behind the throne, so to speak, certainly he’s less symbolic than the King of England. He is the leader of the United States, the leader of, without question, the most powerful country in the world; therefore, in many respects, the most important country in the world. The election of the head of state of such a country is a pivotal event. And therefore, it’s important, it’s a turning point. We’re unfortunately not given much of a choice in terms of who the heads of state will be.

It’s also, though on a much more profound and grander scale, a pivotal time in Western civilization. It’s a pivotal time in Christian civilization. It’s a turning point. It may be an ending point. And therefore, during this pivotal time, these really, we can say, evil times, because of the rejection of the law of God, we have many people crying out for rights: the rights of man, the rights of individuals, the rights of organizations, the rights of races, and to our great shame, the rights of perversity.

But what about the rights of God? Who is crying out that the rights of Almighty God, that the Creator and Lord of all, be respected? This is why it’s a pivotal time.

We can say, I mean, we can honestly say that many, maybe even most people, are basically good. Certainly not in a supernatural sense. If you don’t have the grace of God in your soul, if you don’t profess and live and follow and practice the revealed religion of Almighty God, the Holy Catholic Faith, then you cannot possibly be truly good. Really, on the natural human level, most people are good, most people are kind, most people are generous. The people out there, and you can say most people, are looking for solutions. They’re looking for some solution to the various problems and difficulties of their individual lives, their social lives. They’re looking for political solutions, looking for solutions on a political level — this particular policy or that policy. We have people who want to pass that law or this law, who want to campaign for this candidate or that candidate.

2024: A 2020 Rehash

And again, like I said, we’re confronted with what? It appears as if it’s just going to be a rematch of the 2020 election, and what do we have to choose from? It’s pathetic. It’s only because one candidate is so rancid that the other one looks good. Not a statesman, not a man with class, certainly not even a really Christian, and certainly not a Catholic candidate. What political solution is there?

There are those looking for economic solutions, looking to find solutions in the economy. If we could just lower taxes, if we could balance the budget, if we could control spending, if we could do this with the Federal Reserve. What economic solutions? What’s going to solve the problems of today? And there are some who look for social solutions, of course. Many of those people who fight against abortion, for example. People deciding we should do something about immigration, this unfettered migration through our borders. People are saying they should be vaccinated, or they shouldn’t be vaccinated, looking for social solutions, again. All these different solutions for the problems of our day. And that’s a legitimate thing to do. Truly, we could say that if many and most are good and so many are looking for solutions, all, except for the downright evil, and those who are mentally deranged, all are seeking peace. They’re looking for peace — the tranquility of order. They are looking for something which will calm the restless heart, that maybe will put some kind of calm in the social system. Looking for peace and seeking after those who can give it to them. For a leader or leaders, for an organization, some movement or party. And yet in all of this seeking, in all of these solutions, it is simply hope and labor lost.

Pope St. Pius X Leads the Way to the Party of God

St. Pius X gives us the response. “There is but one Party of order capable of restoring peace in the midst of all this turmoil.” Again, “there is but one Party capable of restoring peace amidst the turmoil of these times, and that is the Party of God” (E Supremi, n. 7). That is the Party of God! That is the Party of God! That is our Party. By our Baptism, we are members, and by our Confirmation we are defenders of that Party. Our solemn, our sacred, our necessary duty and honor is to that Party — to understand that Party and to give ourselves entirely to that Party. It is that Party which we must advance with all our strength and to attract as many people as possible to it.

And that, in these days, is a formidable task. Individually, we’re left with a formidable task. As the beautiful second Psalm says, the nations and the peoples have raged against Almighty God and His Christ. I’ll quote from the beautiful encyclical of St. Pius X written in 1903 to capture that evil. “When all these things in society, these evils and the turmoil have been considered, there is good reason to fear, lest this great perversity may be, as it were, a foretaste and perhaps the beginning of those evils which are reserved for the final days…. Such is the audacity and the wrath employed everywhere in persecuting religion and combating the dogmas of the faith in a brazen effort to uproot and destroy all relations between man and the divinity” (E Supremi, n. 5).

The times are evil. We’re not merely in some cultural war. We are in a supernatural war. A war for the salvation of souls. A war much more importantly for the honor and glory of Almighty God. We’re living in times of turmoil, a time of chaos, we’re in the very midst of a profound revolution. We should recognize this reality with full heart and understanding and embrace it. We should in no way run from this fight, run from this evil, and much worse, God forbid we should not in any way compromise with it. That is not the Party of God.

What is the response? What is the profoundly Christian response? What is the Catholic response? St. Pius X will give us this response, a mission statement taking courage in Him, Almighty God, Who strengthens us. “We proclaim with all our strength, that we have no other program but that of restoring all things in Christ, so that Christ our Lord may be all in all things. … The interest of God shall be our interest, and for this we are resolved to spend all our strength and our very life. … We believe in this victory with unshakable faith” (E Supremi, nn. 4, 6, 7).

That is the Catholic mission statement, in the face of whatever evils there might be, of all the legions of hell, and all the minions of those legions. This Party has a foundation, and this Party has a plan, and this Party has a platform. It is incumbent upon baptized and confirmed Catholics to profoundly understand that, in order that it might be put into practice, in order, as the great saintly Pontiff says, that we might advance this Party, and that we might attract multitudes to this Party. And what is the foundation? The foundation we find, again, in summary, in the very first book of the Bible and in the fourth and last of the Gospels — in the very first sacred sentence written in the Book of Genesis, “In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth.” And then, a little forward, on the sixth day after creating the sun, the moon, the day, and the night, after creating the stars, after creating the mountains, and the oceans, after creating all those things, and then creating the fish in the sea, and the birds in the air, the beasts upon this earth, then in the very special act He creates that unique creature. He then creates man. And He creates that creature unique because he’s made in His image and likeness. He then gives that first admonition of Almighty God to the human race. He creates them male and female and He tells them to go and increase, and multiply.  This establishes the very foundation of the Divine Plan. God is the Creator. God is the Lord of all. Everyone and everything is absolutely dependent upon that Creator. Without God, there is nothing. And if we go to that last of the Gospels, the fourth Gospel according to St. John, he picks that foundational idea up and it brings it into perspective, into a historical perspective. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God…. And the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us” (John 1:1, 14). That same God Who created that earth, and created that unique creature man, He became one, and walked amongst us in order to make the program, the party, the platform, the Divine Plan absolutely clear.

The perfection of revelation is Almighty God assuming a perfect human nature and stepping into history. Almighty God walked upon this earth. This is the Divine Plan and this is the foundation of that Party. The foundation which we must grasp and understand and build everything upon, because if it’s not built upon that Rock then it’s built upon sand and when the storms of trial and temptation like we have now, when they come, what will happen? We see the result of rejection — revolution, chaos, turmoil, evil reigning.

What is the Plan?

What, then, is the plan? What’s the plan? Let me give it an outline form. The plan is very clear. We’ve already outlined that in the human heart resides the desire for peace, the desire for order, that tranquility of order, which is peace. That is peace in the soul. We all seek and want that; a restless soul seeks peace. We seek peace and tranquility in our families. We seek it in society. We seek it amongst nations. It is peace which is essential for a properly run organization, be it an individual, be it a family, be it a society, a city, a state, a country, the entire world. But that peace, that tranquility of order, must be built upon justice. It must rest upon justice. And justice is not screaming about rights. That’s my right and it’s my right and it’s our right. It’s a question of duty. Justice is about dues, things we owe to others. Between human beings, between family members, in society, between the nations — Justice.

But the most important and elemental aspect of that justice is rendering to God His due. That brings about peace. And that brings us to the next part of the plan. Without God, it’s impossible to have justice. We’ve foolishly taken God out of the picture and necessarily there is no justice. Why should someone behave if there is no judgment, no repercussions? We see that now rampant in our cities because the police are now the ones handcuffed rather than the criminals. There is no punishment meted out to the criminals.  Why shouldn’t I break into the car? Why shouldn’t I steal the car? Why shouldn’t I break into the store? There are no ramifications. That is a concrete and clear example of what happens ultimately when we don’t have God. If there is no God, there can be no justice. There is no reason to act in a morally upright way. Why would I not do what is best for me and to hell with everybody else? Unless there’s a God, unless there’s a judgment, there can be no morality, no right or wrong; justice demands Almighty God, and the respect and honor due to Him and His laws.

That God, though, is not just some God Who started things and then went away or some vague presence, some impersonal power force. That God, that Trinitarian God, that Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, decided from all eternity that the Second Person of that Trinity would become incarnate, and “the Word was made flesh and dwelt amongst us” (John 1:14). There is no worshiping of God unless you worship our Lord Jesus Christ, the perfect revelation of Almighty God. There is no substitute. There is but one Name under heaven given to us for not only salvation (cf. Acts 4:12) but even that peace of soul and peace between nations. Without the Prince of Peace, there is no peace. Our Lords’s main duty upon this earth, other than of course the promulgation of that peace, is the establishment of His Church.  He spends those three years of his public life preparing His Apostles, the foundation of the Church. “To the rest I speak in parables, but to you I let know the secrets of the Kingdom,” (cf. Matt. 13:11, 13) because you are going to be the princes, the foundations of the Church. There is no such thing as worshiping God and there is no such thing as having a relationship with Jesus Christ unless you have that — His one, holy, Catholic, and apostolic Church. Everything else limps, necessarily, because without it, you are not working within the Divine Plan. You are working contrary to the Divine Will.

The Party Platform

Reading the beautiful books of Fr. Denis Fahey cannot be recommended enough. Fr. Fahey profoundly outlines the Divine Plan, and then, because he is writing in our times and for our times, he tells us the attack on that plan by Naturalism, by Judaism, by Modernism, by all these different elements that reject and attack the Divine Plan. We’re not anti-Semitic; we are simply anti- anyone who rejects that Divine Plan. He outlines that clearly; all Catholic men should know what that plan is. It should be part of their make-up, part of their very being, then they can live it vibrantly in the Church.

That leads us then to the Party platform. A Party proposes and promulgates a platform. What is the platform of the Church? We see this foundation, which is given to us in the books of the Bible. We see this plan in general. What, then, is the platform itself? What are the nuts and bolts, so to speak? What is the meat of the Catholic meal? The first thing is the Creeds. Almighty God speaks to our intellects, what you must know, what you must believe in order to be part of this Party, in order to be a thriving and living member, in order to be one who will attract others to it, who will help in the salvation of souls, who will give honor and glory to God. That is our belief system, the Creeds: the Apostle’s Creed, understanding it, not just saying it by rote like a parrot. And the Nicene Creed, which we say in the Holy Mass, which has additions or amplifications. And in the beautiful, longer Athanasian Creed. These should be ours. We should understand them and know what they teach, what they mean.

That’s the food of the intellect according to the Divine Plan. It doesn’t exclude other knowledge, necessary knowledge. If you’re a lawyer, a doctor, a carpenter, you need to have specific knowledge of your profession, of your trade, of your duties, but it must be subservient to that first understanding and always directed by it, the first proper knowledge which is of the Faith, which is about that revealed Faith, permeating and penetrating. This party platform will speak to the whole man.

What is that second element? It is the Commandments. Now Almighty God is going to speak to the will, revealing what we need to do. It’s about actions; it’s about morals; it’s about morality. God has told us what is right and wrong. We don’t have to invent it, and we don’t come up with our own rules. There are some things which simply cannot be voted upon, things outlawed by Almighty God, by the very nature of the world He has created. We have the knowledge of the Faith and of morals, what we’re supposed to do, and form our consciousness based upon that reality, those objective truths, the revelation of God, the Ten Commandments and the Precepts of the Church. That’s the most basic and fundamental Catholic action. The revelation and the Deposit of Faith that we must know and the Commandments which we must follow. God, however, doesn’t leave us without giving us the nourishment and the strength to fulfill those. He gives us His Sacraments. He gives an intimate participation in His very Blood. Those Sacraments come forth from His side on the Cross, when the water and the Blood poured forth in every drop. We must never forget those Sacraments that we receive only once, whether it be Baptism or whether it be Confirmation, or those of us who are truly blessed with Holy Orders, the ministerial priesthood. We must thank God for those. It’s the reason why we have the holy water at the entrance, so when you walk into the Church, it reminds you of Baptism. It’s a minor purification, to worthily enter into the Church of God. What do you seek from the Church of God? Faith. “Enter into the Church of God,” the priest says at the baptismal ceremony, placing his stole of the priesthood of our Lord Jesus Christ upon the one to be baptized and that holy water reminds us of this sublime moment. Every time we dip into that holy water, we thank Him for that Baptism. We thank Him for making us members of the Party of God. And then our Confirmation, which takes us from being a member to one necessarily duty-bound as a defender of that Party, which is the Holy Catholic Church. What is the nourishment given? It is the forgiveness of sins, and the supreme act of all, the Sacrifice on the Cross, which is perpetuated in the Holy Mass. He is not content with merely telling us, not content with that Sacrifice ending once and for all like those poor deluded Protestants think, but He gives each and every day the perpetuation of that Sacrifice, of divine love, and divine mercy, given to us through the Holy Mass. We participate in the most intimate manner, nourished in the most profound, supernatural way by the Holy Eucharist, not just God’s grace, but God Himself. The true God and true man, the Word made flesh, we receive the Word and we receive the flesh in that nourishment of that manna which is supernatural and divine, coming down from heaven, which is the Holy Eucharist. That must be the most important thing in our lives, to be fed, to be nourished, and to be strengthened. So then we can be vibrant members of this Party, advancing its prerogatives and attracting a multitude to it, that is our duty, our sacred and solemn duty.

Then there is the duty of prayer with its different points, but especially in this context, the prayer of adoration. We all pray with petition — I need this and I need that — and that’s something God wants us to do. It is entirely blessed and strongly encouraged. But He desires, demands, must have adoration. Our prayer must be, first and foremost, of adoration. I bow down, based in that first line of Genesis, which provides the foundation before God, Who in the beginning created all that which is now entirely dependent and never in any way independent from His knowledge, from His will, from His love and from His care.

Get Practical

You might think, “What a beautiful sermon.” You can yell and scream, but your response can’t simply be something that emotes. I pray to God that at least some of you are moved by this sermon. But it can’t be emotional; emotions come and go. You walk out, some car passes by and splashes you full of water, all that you read goes right out the window when you start cursing that guy as he drives down the street. It must be in the gut, visceral, part of you.

What can we practically do? Beautiful theory remains sterile unless put into practice. The first thing, which is very clear: we must know, love, and live our Faith, without compromise. It is the main reason that we are given this time in the liturgical year. It is to remember that Our Lord died for our sins and it is also to remember we are going to die as well. But it’s not out of fear, it’s about love. It’s about wanting to carry the banner of Christ and His Church before all men. It is to give honor and glory to God, to live our Faith without compromise in season and out of season, in public and in private. We don’t want to be showy like the Protestants with their false religions. We want people to know rather by the way we dress, by the way we act, and by the things we say, by the things we watch, the manner in which we conduct ourselves.  ourselves in front of others. We want them to know that we are members of the Party of God. We want them to know that we live our Faith and can defend our Faith and propagate our Faith, as the Sacrament of Confirmation demands. That soldier of Christ must not only know but must also propagate and defend that Holy and Catholic Faith, which is done primarily by example. That man is special, why? What makes him different? He is Catholic!

And because Our Lord is the sign of contradiction, to the ruin and the resurrection of many (cf. Luke 2:34), there will be attacks and let us thank God for that. There will always be difficulties and crosses for all true disciples of Our Lord when living without compromise, taking no prisoners. We must profoundly live our Faith and that starts in private. That starts in the most private part of ourselves, in the depths of our soul. I want Jesus Christ. I want sanctity. I want to live my Faith in the most uncompromising manner. This time of purification, Septuagesima and Lent, is a God-given time for that. It’s time to take stock. It is time to advance. It is time to attack!

And the second practical point is what is engraved upon the First Tablet. There were two tablets given to Moses and the first has three commandments, the first three commandments, which directly pertain to God and His service and His honor and His glory. Of course, the second also pertains to God but indirectly because those deal directly with our neighbor.

First Tablet: “I am the Lord your God. You shall not have other gods before Me” (Ex. 20:2-3). This is the God Who created heaven and earth. This is the God upon Whom we depend for the next breath.  The next blink of an eye doesn’t happen unless Almighty God keeps us in existence. How dare the person who can’t blink on his own, this spiritual cripple who could do nothing on his own without the Divinity and that divine assistance, how dare he not serve and adore?

Let us then, my friends, very practically seek out with the guidance of the Holy Ghost, (perhaps through a novena to the Holy Ghost) to discover our idols. What and where are our idols? What have we set up in opposition to God, even in little ways? There are so many things that we allow to stand in the way, which may not be sinful, and again, satan doesn’t care whether they’re sinful as long as they’re obstacles, as long as they distract. The news, the election, foreign wars, crime far from home, all the things that just don’t matter to get my soul to heaven, which don’t matter to foster the Party of God.

“I am the Lord thy God.” Cast those idols aside.

And next, the Second Commandment: “Thou shalt not take the Lord’s Name in vain” (Ex. 20:7). No more! No more! God forbid any Catholic would take the sacred Name in vain, the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ. But do we put up with that? Do we watch movies and videos, etc. that take the Name in vain? That someone, anyone, has the audacity to blaspheme the God who created all? The one who sustains even the ability to push the button to allow that thing to turn on? Never again! Not in our presence, not in our entertainments, will we allow the sacred Name of Jesus to be insulted. There is a whole confraternity, in the church, the Holy Name Society to defend and protect the Holy Name.  Catholic men don’t allow such things to be tolerated.  That is worth fighting for.  That is worth punching someone right on the mouth if they refuse to show respect to the Holy Name. God forbid you say something about a homosexual or the Holocaust, but you can blaspheme Jesus Christ any time and anywhere — and where are the Catholic men to stand up and say no? No more! It is God’s Second Commandment; that Name must be revered and respected — every knee in heaven and on earth and under the earth bows in adoration at that Name (cf. Philip. 2:10), the Name of the Savior. The Savior Who shed His Blood for each and every one of the blasphemers. “Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do” (Luke 23:34). But we know. We know. Never again!

And then the Third Commandment, directly to God, keep holy the Sabbath day. No more cheating! Figure out your plan on Saturday night. You don’t need to go to the store on Sunday. Unless death is at the door, you do not shop on Sundays. You do not work on Sundays. Six days are given to you to do your business. Six out of seven. One. One alone dedicated to Almighty God, and it must be respected by those who are members of the Party of God. Without question. Without question. The First Tablet must be revered.

And then, let us practice the virtues, especially the foundational virtue and the queen of virtues. The foundational virtue — dear Lord, help us with this — humility. That’s the foundation of the Party of God. God created; I’m just the creature. That doesn’t mean a false humility, saying, “I don’t have any talent. I can’t do this. I can’t do that. I’m just a humble little person.” That’s not it at all. It’s about recognizing reality: each one of us has our gifts and has our talents. Thank God for them, refer them back to Almighty God, use them for His glory.  This foundation of humility is necessary in the spiritual life as it is in the Party of God; humility, recognition of reality. And that Great Reality. No, the Reality, Almighty God, period.  Everything else is barely even worthy of mention, including His most unique and special creation which is man. Let us practice that virtue, and then let us practice the summit of virtues, charity, which you can say encompasses all of this. It encompasses both tablets. It loves God above all else and neighbor for His sake. My dear friends, where is our treasure? There is where our heart is. What do I really love? Are my prayers something that I consider important or is it just that I get to them at the end of the day? Is God the most important person in our lives? To be a disciple, you must love Him more than anything. Just before Lent, we had the feast day of St. Timothy, the disciple called by St. Paul who himself wrote letters to him giving Timothy admonition, giving instructions on how to be a saint, which Timothy obviously followed.

What was the Gospel that day? It is a parallel gospel with St. Matthew, taken from St. Luke, where our Lord wants to make it very clear, drastically clear, the kind of love, the kind of honor and respect and devotion given to God. “If you don’t hate your mother and father, if you don’t hate your husband or your wife, if you don’t hate your son or your daughter, you’re not worthy to be My disciple” (cf. Luke 14:26). Harsh? Does He actually mean hate? No, of course not.  Literally what He means is you must cut everything that hinders true service to God; that’s the beauty of the great saints, that’s the beauty of the monastic life. These men and women understand and divinely directed themselves. They realized the one thing necessary. Let us too be disciples, true and even heroic disciples, and follow Him each and every day, each and every moment.


To go back to the Party, here are some statistics. There are roughly 168 million registered voters in the United States of America. Looking over the past six presidential elections, an average of 59% of them, over half, but not even 60%, have actually voted. 168 out of 270 million are registered to vote, of that group only 59% actually voted, and of that number, less than 4% actually donated or actively campaigned for a candidate. How does this apply to us, members of the Party of God? We registered by our baptism and we vote by being in the state of grace, by having on the wedding garment and not being cast off into the exterior darkness, but are we campaigning? Are we giving? Are we generously giving at that level, the level of the 4%, the level which will allow the Party of God to advance and to attract?

Once again, my dear friends, let me finish by simply saying that this is not meant to be merely emotional. Sure, if it really counts, it will be emotional, but that’s just a superficial thing which passes. And then the moment passes, and the Mass is done, and the priest says, Ite Missa est, then what happens? Is the Party being advanced then? Is the Faith being loved and lived? Lights shining into the darkness?

So let the words ring in your ears, but let them especially adhere to the very depths of your soul. We are members of the Party of God, members by Baptism and defenders by our Confirmation, a solemn and a sacred and an absolutely necessary duty in order that souls, and even our own souls, will be saved. But much more than that, the Saints didn’t primarily think about the salvation of their souls. The great members, the great campaigners, the great donors in the Party of God, they fought for only one thing: His honor and His glory. “Thy Kingdom come” (Matt. 6:10). Amen.

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Fr. Michael McMahon

Fr. Michael McMahon is a priest of the Society of St. Pius X (SSPX).