It was Jacques Maritain who said, “Christianity must inform or, rather, transpenetrate the world; not that this is its principal aim (although it is an indispensable secondary end), and not in order that the world become right now the kingdom of God, but in order that grace may be more and more effective in it, and in order that man may better live there his temporal life.”
If grace is to be more and more effective in the world, if a new Christendom is to arise from the ashes of our morally-bankrupt, sin-sick society which subjects mankind to constant and ever-growing threats of degradation and destruction, then saints will have to arise in the midst of our broken world. These saints will be, according to St. Louis de Montfort in his classic treatise True Devotion to Mary, “..like thunder-clouds flying through the air at the slightest breath of the Holy Spirit. Attached to nothing, surprised at nothing, troubled at nothing, they will shower down the rain of God’s word and of eternal life. They will thunder against sin, they will storm against the world, they will strike down the devil and his followers and for life and for death, they will pierce through and through with the two-edged sword of God’s word all those against whom they are sent by almighty God.” (True Devotion, 57).
Such disciples will not be “part-time Catholics” or “Chicken-Catholics,” devoting only one hour a week to their Creator and Redeemer while retreating in fear from any and all conflict during the spiritual battles ahead. St. Montfort insists that, “..we know they will be true disciples of Jesus Christ, imitating his poverty, his humility, his contempt of the world and his love. They will point out the narrow way to God in pure truth according to the holy Gospel, and not according to the maxims of the world. Their hearts will not be troubled, nor will they show favor to anyone; they will not spare or heed or fear any man, however powerful he may be. They will have the two-edged sword of the Word of God in their mouths and the blood-stained standard of the Cross on their shoulders. They will carry the crucifix in their right hand and the rosary in their left, and the holy names of Jesus and Mary on their heart. The simplicity and self-sacrifice of Jesus will be reflected in their whole behavior.” (True Devotion, 59).
George Weigel, weighing in on the supreme crisis which faces the Catholic Church in the United States in the wake of President Obama’s re-election, asserts (correctly) that: “..the opportunity embedded in this crisis..is nothing less than to be the Church of the New Evangelization, full-throttle. Shallow, tribal, institutional-maintenance Catholicism is utterly incapable of meeting the challenges that will now come at the Catholic Church from the most aggressively secular administration in American history. Only a robustly, unapologetically evangelical Catholicism, winsomely proposing and nobly living the truths about the human condition the Church teaches, will see us through the next four years. Radically converted Christian disciples, not one-hour-a-week Catholics whipsawed by an ever more toxic culture, are what this hour of crisis..demands.” (The crisis of a second Obama administration).
Sadly, the militant evangelical Catholicism described by George Weigel is not encouraged - or even tolerated - in some corners of the Catholic Church here in the United States. In some dioceses, the Cult of Softness has all but crippled an authentic, militant evangelization and replaced it with a sacharrin-spirituality which sugar-coats sin while leaving Zebulun and Naphtali in the shadow of death. As part of the Ecclesia Militans, I am persona non grata in my own diocese - the Diocese of Worcester, Massachusetts. New Age advocates, dissidents who rail against the Magisterium and those who engage in radical homosexual agitprop are welcome. But an orthodox Catholic who vigorously promotes and defends the teaching of the Magisterium is deemed "rigid" and "too pre-Vatican II."
This is our moment as Catholics: We can choose to take a courageous stand for the Faith of our Fathers, witnessing to Gospel truths with the whole of our lives and even unto death; or we can fall back into the shadows and thereby cooperate in the spiritual destruction of a once-great nation.
Along with the Church’s other martyrs, St. Thomas More was confronted with the same choice. While remaining a loyal servant of the King, he chose to be God’s servant first. Will we?