To celebrate Easter properly, we should probably recall Luca Signorelli’s 1499 masterpiece The Sermon and Deeds of the Anti-Christ. It now hangs in the Chapel of San Brizio in Orvieto. Upon first glance, it appears that Christ stands in the foreground. Then the observer realizes that it is not Christ at all. It is an imposter. More than that, it is the anti-Christ, indeed Satan. But how is this discovered? Only an informed Catholic eye could know. 

The devil points to his heart. But isn’t this a common gesture of the Savior since the marvelous revelations of the Sacred Heart to St. Margaret Mary Alacoque? Yes, but something is conspicuously absent: no wounds on the body of Christ. In the many counterfeits of Christ through the centuries the dead giveaway of a false Savior is a smooth skin unburdened by the wounds of Golgotha. Those wounds alone mark the presence of the true Redeemer; the other, a counterfeit one.

Counterfeit Christianity always delights in showing the heart of Christ, but not His pierced heart. From that seemingly harmless symbolism tumbles the inverted creed of Counterfeit Christianity. It centers not on sacrificial love but on sentimental luv, a perennial temptation for all the fallen children of Adam and Eve. Even the thoroughgoing existentialist Albert Camus echoed this truth when he wrote, “Future generations will be able to summarize our culture in two propositions: they fornicated and read the newspapers.” This faux Christianity turns the Gospel’s truth inside out by dictating bonhomie as its ironclad imperative. 

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