Wednesday, August 28, 2013

There are no obstacles we can't overcome in His Holy Name!


Brian Hudon, a faithful Catholic blogger loyal to the Church's Magisterium, notes that, "It's a given that the Catholic Church is in decline in the United States of America. The priesthood is aging, the average age of those who attend mass on a regular basis is rapidly increasing and there are nearly none to replace the members of either group. The Church in America is dying and no one will be left the remember it. How did this happen? You might think you know, or perhaps you think you don't, but the answers are more painfully obvious than anyone would believe and in many cases, will be more than unpopular.

A mess has been created in the Catholic Church in America. Note than I said the Catholic Church in America, not the Catholic Church of America or the American Catholic Church as there are no such things as those. But therein lies the problem. Catholics who are American have for too long attempted to put their trademark upon the Catholic Church in America, not realizing the Catholic Church is not only a foreign presence in the United States, but a foreign presence in the world. We here are exiles in the world.

Let us be clear, the Catholic Church is the one true visible presence of Jesus Christ's authority on earth. The Bible comes from the Catholic Church, Catholic meaning universal only, the one true Church founded by Christ. We do not believe in Jesus because of the Bible. We trust in the veracity of the Bible because of the authority of the Church. The Catholic Church, and the Church alone, through the authority of the Apostles of Christ's Church on earth decided what was in the Bible. We used to believe and profess this.

Unfortunately, we have now come to profess, as the lapsed Catholics we have become, that Catholicism is a faith rather than the faith. In a true syncretistic style, many believe all religions now, are more or less the same. Many foolishly and falsely believe we all worship the same God, if only differently. While even popes warn of the danger of "New Age" there is nothing more "new age" than radical ecumenism, if in fact there is ever any ecumenism that is not radical, or rather a type of veiled shame of being Catholic.

And so, we might have our children baptized, and as often have them receive first communion, and now seldom see them confirmed. Parents if they even attend mass from week to week and often don't, do not require their children to attend weekly mass as God requires them to. We allow our children to marry non-Catholics and often marry outside the Catholic faith, even while they continue to receive communion while never attending confession. And we think this all kosher because they are good people.

The marines may be looking for a few good men, but God is looking for valid Catholics, in all human persons, who live their lives in the sacraments of Holy Mother Church. Christ is right when he says the road to the kingdom of heaven is narrow and few there are who will find it. Very few we might fear. Should we believe otherwise is to call Jesus Christ a liar. But we often do that anyhow, even while desecrating and profaning the very sacraments we choose not to believe while making empty public professions.

The Creed of the Church is what we believe. It is not what what we wish for. It is not a menu. When we say "I believe" we must mean "I believe" even if we do not understand. All else that is contrary to this makes us enemies of the son of the living God, his Father in heaven and the Holy Spirit. God needs our opinions and personal beliefs no more than the earth requires our opinions of gravity when we trip and fall violently to the ground. The Creed is the physics of Catholic thinking and is not subject to opinion polls.

Among the worst forms of offense against God and the Church are in matters of sexual morality. The first directive of God in all of human history was to be fruitful. We are not however fruitful. Far from it, we are quite barren, a situation that has led directly to the current crisis in the Church. We as a Catholic people are largely producing chaff, the very chaff that the threshers will burn in unquenchable fire. Man commits few offenses so grave as impurity and contraception which produce no heirs for the Gospel.

The Church with regularity prays for vocations as it should, but it does not ask why the garden of Catholic living does not produce bountiful harvests.* Why are the fields dry and the produce so little? Why? Illegitimate births, birth control, pre-marital sex, abortion, divorce and perhaps the thing most deadly to the Church, the loveless marriage that finds no conjugal unity and procreative love in marriage which finds strength and nourishment in the sacraments of the Church. And what of this? Marriage dies without God.

A Church without sons is a Church without priests. A Church without sons is a Church without priests and a Church without sacraments. Before all things Jesus Christ, the second person of the Blessed Trinity, was a son. A Church without sons, dies. He was a son before all things in his last words, made his most faithful disciple at the Cross a son of his own mother, Mary and made her a mother again. Be fruitful God says to the first man and woman and we have not been and the Church thus withers gravely.

I had the opportunity to deliver a much abbreviated version of these concerns to the Bishop of my own diocese this past July. A Church without sons, a Church without family, has no future I told him and a room of some 70 people. Now that has come to fruition as we have been formally informed to expect changes in the Church. The fear is a logical and likely one and inevitable. There are going to be fewer priests and as a result, fewer masses. The end result will be unmistakable, even less mass attendance.

The template here is clear. The destruction of the Catholic family leads to the destruction of the Catholic Church. Like water in the hot sun the faithful will gather into ever fewer and smaller pools to face the world alone under the brutal hot sun of faithlessness, relativism, ecumenism, and sterility. Some, lukewarm, may be soaked up by the protestant residual, but many will simply resume life without God. Hardcore faith rooted in the Tradition and sacraments of the Church will become ever more the exception, than the rule.

Consider the attacks of the world upon faith, public mockery of Catholicism, false claims of science and reason, the propaganda of the culture of death including forms of artificial forms of conception, euthanasia, radical feminism, the homosexual movement, alternate forms of so-called marriage, pornography and near legal and state sanctioned forms of religious discrimination against Catholics by a rogue American state and the road to the kingdom of heaven becomes all the more narrow and difficult to navigate.

I am not proposing solutions. I am not making wild unsubstantiated suppositions. I am simply telling you the time of the day. 50 years of post-Vatican II dissolution of the Liturgy and sacramental life, of rampant birth control, cohabitation, divorce, abortion and timid ecumenism have eviscerated the Catholic faith. Lump on top of this weak and absent catechesis, rote and thoughtless reception of our Lord in Eucharistic communion without repentance in the sacrament of confession and you have a recipe for spiritual disaster."
 
Brian Hudon is doing what Vatican II instructs us to do as Catholics.  For the Council reminded us that we have a duty to clean up every environment where sin and injustice have found a home.  And this includes the local Church.  The Council said, "...the faithful must strive, as much as they can, to clean up the world's institutions and environments, if in some manner they incite to sin, in such a way that they come to conform to the principles of justice, and favour more than they impede the practice of the virtues."
 
Why does the evil in our midst continue to grow unchecked?  Because good men and women have become afraid.  It was Sir Edmund Burke who said that, "The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing."

But excessive conformism has led to the passive acceptance of evils which are fatal for the life of the Church and which fearful and timid Catholics now view as unavoidable.  The challenge, as I see it, is for Christians to once again pray for the Cardinal Virtue of Fortitude. Omnia possum in eo qui me confortat. I can do all things in Him who strengthens me. (Phil 4:13). These words are engraved on a bracelet which I wear. Do we really believe this? Or do we let others define who we are?


Issue the battle cry! Let's take back our cities!  Let's say "enough" to the "Culture of Death," the "Cult of Softness," the radical homosexual agenda, New Age Gnosticism, and all the other myriad evils which have infected Holy Mother Church.

Those who walk in the Spirit know no fear. What are we waiting for? The Lord Jesus waits. He grows tired of our excuses:


I’m not holy enough:
Is 6:1-9; Lk 5:1-11

I’m afraid I will fail:
Ex 14:10-31; Lk 15

I’ve made mistakes and I’m a sinner:
Jn 21:15-23; Mt 9:9-13; Lk 7:36-50

I’m too young:
1 Sam 3:1-18; Jer 1:4-10; Lk 1:26-38

I’m not talented enough:
1 Sam 17:32-51; Lk 1:26-38

I want to have a family:
Gn 12:1-3; Mt 12:46-50; Mk 10:28-30

I’m afraid of making a permanent commitment:
Ruth 1:15-17; Mt 28:16-20

I’m afraid of public speaking:
Ex 4:10-17; Jer 1:4-10

I’m not smart enough:
2 Cor 4:7-18; Ex 4:10-17

I’m afraid of being alone:
Ex 3:4-22; Lk 1:28-38

I want to be happy:
Ps 37:4; Mt 5:1-12; Jn 10:10; Mk 10:28-31

I can do all things in Him who strengthens me. There are no obstacles we can't overcome in His holy name. Even while others attempt to label us and dismiss us as useless, as having no worth. I knew a young man with developmental disabilities whose father told him he was "worthless." He was told by his father that the best thing for him would be a bullet in the head. When he asked me one day if he was worthless, I reminded him of his many gifts: his sense of humor, his ability to love others, his ability to pray to God and a litany of other gifts. And I assured him that he is not "worthless."

We live in a sad, broken world. There are many people who are heavily burdened with sin who are hurting. And because they are hurting, they want to hurt others. If you could read some of the comments which have been left at this Blog you would cringe. Sad time. Hurting time. And we pray for such people.

But we cannot let others define who we are. We are children of God who have access to the Holy Spirit's Gifts just by asking for them.

The Son of God loves us. What does that suggest about those who hate us?

The Spirit within us is NOT a spirit of fear!  Now is the time to act if we want to imprint the Christian character on every environment we encounter.  If we fail to rise up to this challenge, the tears of the next generation will be the fruit of our complacency and cowardice.

Is this what we want for the next generation?


*  See here

3 comments:

Rita Jeannine Melanson said...

The Worcester Diocese has truly succumbed to the leaven of infidelity. I was married in the year this diocese was formed (1950). What was once a thriving, spiritually healthy local Church with packed Churches, confessional lines, seminary and convents, has become a withered fig tree.

The handwriting is indeed on the wall: Mene, Mene, Tekel, Upharsin.

Michelle said...

Bishop McManus refuses to even acknowledge the letters written by Catholics faithful to the Church regarding their concerns over doctrinal dissent and liturgical abuses and so forth. The feeling among many is that we do not have a spiritual father. Merely a CEO who will do everything in his power to protect the reputation of renegade priests, deacons and religious and who is more intent on presreving the dissident status quo.

Dear Jesus.....save this drowning Church!

Ellen Wironken said...

I have been reading your posts (and articles published elsewhere) for years now. The fact that your diocese cannot see any good in you at all suggests nothing about you but speaks volumes about how bad things there are. Continue to hold your head up - as I know you do at all times. All around you is death and decay. And the time will come when it will be evident to all that you chose the true path while many around you chose the broad way which leads to destruction.

When a Lowe Dongor or a Robert Kelley is cherished over someone who embraces celibacy, chastity and the teaching of the Catechism, you know things are rotten.

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