Dear Friends of the Kolbe Center,
Christ is risen! Alleluia!
I will never tire of saying how privileged I am to receive emails and letters from my Catholic brothers and sisters all over the world whose souls have "been set free from the fowler's snare" of evolution-based modernism-often by an extraordinary actual grace that allowed them to see at a glance, so to speak, the truth of the sacred history of Genesis and the falsehood of evolution. Recently, I received two books from a new friend by the name of Mike Gladieux who has devoted much of his life to studying and defending the literal historical truth of the sacred history of Genesis.
I was quite amazed by the breadth and depth of Mike's research into the background of the sacred history of Genesis, although I was even more amazed by the fact that his work has apparently gone almost completely unnoticed by his fellow Catholics. In this newsletter I would like to share Mike's account of how Our Lord gave him the grace to believe in the true doctrine of creation and to begin his several-decades long project of research and writing that we will be privileged to share with you now and in the days to come. The following account has been taken from his magnum opus, a detailed commentary on Genesis which focuses on the way that Moses redacted the historical records of the Patriarchs from Adam down to his own time to compile the first book of the Bible.
History is very important. In ancient Israel the recounting of history was considered to be a prophetic role. The reason is that when we tell history we must decide what events to include in our history and how we interpret those events; that is, what meaning and significance we attach to the past. This task can only be accurately carried out with the explicit guidance and enlightenment of the Spirit of God. Thus the telling of history must be seen as a prophetic function. This is especially important today because history is being told in ways that cannot be reconciled with the scriptures. We are told that earth and its inhabitants were millions and billions of years in the making, originating from the long-term outworking of naturalistic processes. This removes from the human race the fundamental purpose and meaning of life, distances us from the One Who created us, and makes society and individuals prey to our basest instincts. In this book I bring forth new archeological evidence for the accuracy of the traditional biblical world-view.
How did I ever come to even think about or consider these issues? I want to begin this book by explaining to you how I got started in these subjects, for there was a question I posed to the Lord, and there was a most unexpected answer to that question. The initial question arose as I was sitting at my desk at work. I was a computer programmer and a system design specialist for the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I worked at the Administrative Services Building on Hoover Street.
In those days, perhaps around 1980 or so, we were granted a fifteen-minute break from 10:00 AM to 10:15 AM each morning. I would read the Detroit Free Press during my break and it always had an interview with someone famous. One day it was with Isaac Asimov, and it was a discussion about his new book In the Beginning. I began to read it with great relish for he was one of my favorite authors. By this time, I was a "born again" Christian who "knew" that the Bible was true. In the midst of the interview the reporter asked Isaac what his book and its ideas had to do with the book of Genesis. He said this: "Nothing. I don't see why some people can't feel secure unless they think there is an old man with a white beard up there that has everything under control."
This remark, from a childhood "icon" with whom I had always felt a kind of kinship, was like a dagger in my gut. I did not expect it at all. I turned to the heavenly Father and I said to Him earnestly, "Father, there has to be an apologetic for this. It has to be simple, straightforward, and clear-and I need to know it." I immediately felt a kind of interior peace, and I put down the paper and returned to my work. In order to understand what I was asking the Lord for in that prayer I need to share with you something about how I grew up and what my basic attitudes were toward such things as "origins."
I was born into a devout Roman Catholic family in New Haven, Indiana. I attended St. John the Baptist Catholic Church and their associated grade school. I went to Central Catholic High School in Fort Wayne, Indiana. I eventually went to Notre Dame in South Bend, Indiana. But before I ever entered school there were some important events that affected me in my youngest years. I was born into a family of seven children. There were five children in the space of ten years, then a ten-year gap, then I came along, and then my youngest brother. My brother Chuck was ten years older than I was. When I was about 2½ years old, my brother was helping my Mom do the dishes after dinner. He would wipe and put away the dishes while she actually washed them. They always had really interesting conversations and I would commonly sit on a kitchen chair and listen to them. This one evening my brother was saying, "Sister told us today that there was no end to the stars. They just keep going on and on forever." I was utterly caught up in that concept. I went to bed that night and imagined in my mind-kind of like the Starship Enterprise going through space. I pictured going through space, and the stars whipping by, and there being no end. It was inconceivable! I would imagine, what if I came to the end, then what would be there? A wall of some kind? Was it hard or soft? I imagined it to be soft. What was on the other side of the wall? The idea of infinity was beyond my ability to grasp, but it fascinated me. This fascination continued throughout my youth.
I was taught by the Sisters of Saint Agnes. In second grade Sister Francis De Sales told us, "Now you can read, so here is your library card. You can use it to check out a book from the public library anytime you want." I walked past the library on the way home, so that afternoon I stopped and asked for some books on Astronomy. I found and checked out five books on that topic and carried them home with my lunch bag. When I got home, I immediately opened them and began to read-well, I tried to read. I could understand absolutely nothing at all. I was frustrated and very disappointed. I thought I could read! I kept returning to those books but eventually, before I ran past the two-week limit, I returned them. Totally deflated, I turned instead to comic books, which I found on a rack in the Dan Purvis Rexall drug store in New Haven. But I turned around and lo, there was a different rack of paper-back books. There were several with pictures of galaxies and stars on the cover. They said things like "The Expanding Universe" and "The Big Bang." I bought them and I read them. Yes I could understand them quite clearly. This was the period of time in my life during which I became familiar with Isaac Asimov.
In fourth grade Sister Luella told us about the various books of the Bible. She started in the first book. She said to us, "Boys and girls, today we are going to study the book of Genesis. In the book of Genesis God tells us how He made everything. We need to know that, and we could never have figured it out on our own." When the kids all went out for recess I stayed behind and asked her, "Sister, what about the Big Bang Theory? That tells us how everything came to be." She looked down at me, for she was quite tall and must have been in her sixties, and she said kindly, "Mike, I don't know about those theories, but I know the Bible is God's word and so it must be true." I totally believed her and left, but this idea came into my mind, "So-they're both true. They just say the same thing but in different ways." That was the exact idea that I had in my mind when I asked the Father, "Father, there has to be an apologetic for this. It has to be simple, straightforward, and clear, and I need to know it." I still thought what I had imagined back in fourth grade, but I had been waiting for a long time to understand exactly how the two ideas fit together. Now it was time for an answer. That is exactly what I was asking for from the Father as I sat at my desk. My question to Him was a direct continuation of the conversation that I had with Sister Luella almost thirty years before. I can explain this now and in retrospect, but I did not consciously realize that when I asked the question.
That night as I left the Administrative Services building in Ann Arbor I was not thinking of the Detroit Free Press and that interview with Isaac Asimov, nor was I thinking about the question that I had posed to the Father as a result of reading the newspaper article. To my right were the railroad tracks. I turned right and crossed them and entered a large parking lot behind the band building. On the windshield of my car was a tract that said on its front page "Have you been Brainwashed?" There was one on every windshield, which made me angry, and my inclination was to toss that junk right onto the street and drive home. I felt a tap on my right shoulder-the Holy Spirit saying, "Read it." So I stood there in the parking lot next to my car and opened that little tract and began to read.
I cannot even recall exactly what was in it, except that it pointed out in simple terms that the theory of evolution and the Big Bang theory were not likely to be true. As I read that tract I suddenly "saw" that the theories that I had so diligently read about, and that I had utterly believed, were not true at all. It was not a logical argument, although there surely was a kind of logic to all that they said. No, it was a spiritual revelation. It was definitely a supernatural insight that God the Father granted to me as I read that simple tract.
St. Ignatius of Loyola speaks at length about such things in his writing on the discerning of spirits. He gives an example. Suppose that a man was looking at and admiring a rose, and as he looked, he was greatly impressed with its intricate beauty and color. He goes away very pleased and feeling good because of the insight he had with the rose. That is very nice, but not at all supernatural. But suppose that, as he looked at that rose, he passed in his thoughts from the rose to the Trinity, and suppose that he had a mystical insight into the wisdom of God, His careful planning of the creation, and His place in all things for him-and suppose that the revelation he was granted changed his life and drew him closer to God, with results that lasted for the rest of the time he was on earth. Such an event could not be other than the Holy Spirit, for only He can draw us to God in that way, and only He can transform our inner man so that we long for and seek after God in an on-going and continual way.
The revelation that I was granted at that moment has changed my life. I was drawn by that special insight into a deeper revelation of God and of His nearness to me. My life of prayer was deepened, and I began to rise up earlier to seek Him. I fell in love with Him, and this has remained in my life to this day. At the time that revelation happened, I did not connect it with the question that I had asked the Father earlier in the day as I sat at my desk. I certainly did not connect it with the discussion that I had with Sister Luella in the fourth grade many years before. I was just ecstatic. I was so happy and so glad, for a reason that I could not assign to any earthly cause, but which came into me from God. I jumped into my car and drove home. I ran in the back door, caught up my wife into my arms and tried to explain to her that "they are not science and they are not true." I couldn't fully explain it to her, but I knew it was so. I laughed. She laughed with me and hugged me. Then she jumped back to the stove where our dinner was burning, and I sat down at the kitchen table and held that tract in my hand and looked at it.
"Lord, I have to meet the man who put this on my windshield." I said this out loud, for I had never in my life thought the thoughts that were in that pamphlet, and I had never in my life spoken with someone who thought like what was explained in that little booklet. I was starving for conversation and personal dialogue, for the exchange of ideas, and for direct thoughts and answers to the various questions I had. I couldn't explain then what had happened to me, but I would now say the following things in partial explanation of it:
- I went through a paradigm shift in my thinking.
- I had the Spirit of the Age and its presumptions ripped from my mind.
- I was granted a mindset-a point of view-that was "like" what people had before the scientific naturalism of our day became prevalent in society-not that I took up ancient cosmology, but I became detached from the current ideas of origins.
None of these are completely adequate, but all of them are true-as far as they go.
The next day I left work at lunch time to go to the Intramural Building, which was down the street from the Administrative Services Building, and which was where I and many of my coworkers went to exercise. We played paddleball, a game like racquetball, which was a great way to work out when you spent the day at a desk job like we all did. As I was walking down Hoover Street toward the railroad tracks a man came up to me and shook my hand and gave me a tract-exactly like the one I had read the day before! He was a stranger and I had never seen him before. He said, "Here let me give you this." I looked at the booklet, put it in my shirt pocket, and said, "I have one of these and I have read it. I need to talk to you." We stood there and talked for quite a while. He explained to me that there were many scientists who thought this way and who wrote about what they thought. I asked where I could get their books. He told me about the Institute for Creation Research and their catalogue. I asked how I could get it. He said to me, "Give me your name and address and I'll send it to them, and they'll mail you their catalogue of books." I did exactly that. As he started to walk on, toward the corner of Hoover and Green, the opposite way that I was going, I realized that when he left then I had no one with whom to discuss this subject-I knew no one who thought this way about things. I grabbed him and said, "Wait! What if you don't give them my name?" He looked at me kind of funny and said, "Man, you're a live one. I'll give them your name." And I said, "You'd better!" Then he walked away, and I continued on to the Intramural Building. But it was too late to exercise, so I turned around and went back to work.
In a couple of weeks, I got a catalogue from the Institute for Creation Research, and I chose and ordered a half dozen books. When they came I devoured them and ordered more. I devoured those as well. I became convinced-not that I wasn't already certain- that this was basically the right way to look at the world around me. I had indeed grown up brainwashed. As years wore on, I seldom felt any need to share with others my new-found understanding of things. It was a lovely little thing that God had given to me for my benefit and I reveled in it quietly. Eventually I turned to the book of Genesis to read it. I had read it before, always with the sense of the Holy Spirit "hovering" over it, but with no true understanding of it. I had come to believe that the true meaning of Genesis was hidden from me in a mystery of some kind. But this time there was a holy light on the book as I read it. I read the first three chapters with that holy light resting upon them and I understood everything very clearly. The book said exactly what it meant, and it meant exactly what it said. The truth of Genesis had been hiding from me in plain sight!
This was not the end of my dealing with the Lord on this matter. Soon after I had read Genesis, with the holy light on the pages and the inner conviction about the truth of that book, I spoke to the Lord and said, "Well, everybody ought to think this same way about Genesis." By "this way" I meant the way that I now thought as I read the book. "Why would anyone ever think other about it?" At that point the Lord reminded me of where I had come from. He recalled to my mind an incident at work from a few years before.
I had been listening to a Walkman with ear plugs and heard on the news about a guy who said that Genesis was true and that the world was only a few thousand years old. I took off my ear plugs and turned off the radio. I sat at my desk and considered what he had said. He must be a fervent Christian, because no one would dare to think such a thing unless he was very committed. But he was so wrong! I turned to the Lord and said, "Lord I know he is my brother, so I love him. But WHY does he have to be such an IDIOT!" I said it with much emphasis, and at that time the Lord said nothing to me in return. Now He recalled that moment to my mind. Of course! Just a little while ago I had thought in a way diametrically opposed to what I now thought. It had seemed so utterly obvious, so clearly and certainly right. When I had asked the Father for an "apologetic," what I had in mind was nothing like the answer He had given to me. Now my mind was in a totally different place. I saw myself and the change that had come upon me. I began to think about what it was before that had made me so certain that I was right. Now I knew what I believed-I believed God and His word. What did I believe before? I had put my faith in the theories and ideas of men. I was convinced that the modern theories of origins were scientifically proven and that they were true.
I thought about this for a long time. I considered how a person can be "certain" about a fact or an assertion even when it is not true. I thought about the power and persuasive force of our modern culture. I also thought about what Christians must have believed about Genesis in previous ages. I said to the Lord, "If I went back a few centuries, to the ancient times, I am sure that every Christian would have believed about Genesis even as I do, right?" He said nothing to me in reply, but books and articles began to trickle into my possession that said all kinds of things about what "the fathers" said and believed about Genesis. It seemed bewildering and confusing, but at that same time the Lord led me to a very simple understanding of how Genesis was written, of how He originally inspired the book. This is a vital missing insight in the church today. This insight is the subject of this book.
All of this that I am relating happened decades ago. After I retired, I felt the Lord leading me to write a book on Genesis, which follows my revelation. I make three points:
- The universal Ancient Faith of the church was that Genesis is true-not just in a metaphorical way, or in a spiritual way, or in an allegorical way, but plainly true.
- Certain archeological insights reveal how each section of Genesis was first written. I explain the insights and show how that understanding of the composition of the book is overwhelmingly confirmed simply by reading the book. The evidence is simple, straightforward, and clear. In Egypt at the time of the Exodus Moses edited the various "sections" and combined them to produce the present book of Genesis.
- Finally, as my initial spiritual revelation in the parking lot indicated, the theories of origins that we call "scientifically true" are not science and they are not true, and this age of the world is greatly deceived by their claims.
I am pleased to announce that we have just posted Mike's introductory article on how Genesis was written and we now offer a short e-book in the Kolbe web store that goes into more detail in its explanation of how Moses redacted the first book of the Pentateuch. I hope that all of our readers will familiarize themselves with the information that Mike has distilled in his book and in his article, information drawn from almost two hundred years of archaeological discoveries in the Middle East that confirm and illuminate the truth of the sacred history of Genesis and Moses' role in the redaction of the first book of the Bible. As mentioned above, in the near future we hope to publish Mike's magnum opus, an in-depth commentary on the first book of the Bible, with a special focus on the way that Moses edited the historical records of the Patriarchs into the sacred history of Genesis.
With gratitude for your constant prayers and support, I am
Yours in Christ through the Immaculata in union with St. Joseph,
P.S. I have asked an Iranian woman who converted to the Catholic Faith and who is a great supporter of our mission to record her testimony, including the part that the Catholic doctrine of creation played in her deliverance from Islam. Once she has completed her audio recording, I am looking for one or more volunteers who would be willing to type up a transcript of her testimony. If any reader of this newsletter would be willing to help with this project, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know.
P.P.S. Today is a First Saturday. For a quick review of Our Lady's urgent requests for the First Saturday of the month, please go to this link https://fatima.org/resources/education/a-short-explanation-of-the-five-first-saturdays/ Our Zoom seminar on "Creation, Evolution, and the Message of Fatima: The Church in Ukraine Can Save the World" has been re-scheduled to Sunday, May 10, from 5 to 6:30 p.m. on-line at https://us02web.zoom.us/j/89639236814